I’m a big believer in using events to grow your business. Events provide a forum for you to showcase your expertise, grow your database, make new contacts and attract new clients.  And, if you’re in the front of the room as the expert and love engaging with the audience, it’s also fun!

In this article  5 Ways to Grow Your Business with Events by Eventgenioso, you’ll find events other than tradeshows to increase your ROI. Some examples? Experiential events for brand activation or product launches which pique the media’s attention. Training or seminars with high profile speakers in your industry, that even the fussiest client can’t refuse. And, incentive travel for new prospects and to jazz up your sales team. Fuel prices are low, everyone loves to travel and you can mix and match programs to target your goals. Have the courage to make it a mystery trip? 

As an INBOUND Guest Blogger (blogging is a great way to get media mention BTW), Joel Comm talks about using live events to drive business. In his post Live Events: The Fastest Way to Grow Your Business, he discusses the importance of meeting new people and building rapport with your audience. First, there’s getting to the like, know and trust stage. Then comes the opportunity to do business. Yes, live events can be fun and should be – but don’t forget the value of finding out what’s new (and trending) from vendors and starting conversations with strangers, who may one day be your client! 

Lastly, Constant Contact’s UK blog lists 7 Events to Grow Your Business with content definitely worth mentioning. You may be thinking networking or throwing a party right off the bat, but what about an Open House? I’ve suggested this to hospitals to Meet the Doc. There are also events to Get a Taste of “your subject”, expert/customer panels where advice and testimonials can be shared openly (great PR) and of course, Breakfast n’ Learn, to start the day off right. Make your own waffles, anyone?

Events work to build business, expert status, reputation and credibility.

PASSION 

Passion ignites the fire of your brand. Without it, you’re just like everyone else. The press wants to highlight intriguing and passionate people, products and services that their readers will be interested in.

Ask yourself:

  • What’s your passion and why?
  • Do you include your passion in your “story” so others can get to know you, your products and services, and what you stand for?
  • Are you willing to be transparent and let the world know who you really are?

Remember: A passion for your work + life enhance your
brand and celebrate your uniqueness.

POSITIONING 

Positioning is a mindset for success. Combine it with a road map for where you want to go, be seen and heard. Determine where you want to go not just in your imagination, but on paper and as part of a PR/promotions plan.

Ask yourself:

  • What does your road map look like for media and audience attention?
  • Are you following the same highway as others in your industry, or are you willing to be bolder and combine traditional with non-traditional tactics?
  • Who will set the course for the journey, and who’ll read the map?

Remember: Welcome those who fortify, strengthen and evolve your positioning, and be willing to help others do the same.

PREPARATION 

Be prepared for success and consider yourself an expert, even if you don’t think you are. The road will come to meet you if you’re doing the work and course correction is part of the journey. You’ll find it easier to leverage publicity with every new press mention.

Ask yourself:

  • What is your competition advertising or promoting on and off line?
  • How is your competition utilizing PR in the media and in what formats? (e.g. feature stories, articles, interviews, quotes, podcasts, book jacket reviews, etc).
  • Who will support you to ensure success?

Remember: You can create a PR swipe file of what you like, resonate with,
and aspire to. Imagine yourself in the story, on TV, as a featured panelist. What makes you different? 

PERSONALITY 

Make yourself unique interesting to the press. Start with a BIO that’s full of personality and passion, and ensure that it tells your story in a way that holds the reader’s attention and makes a positive and memorable impression.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you have both a long and a short version of your BIO for different purposes? (e.g. media interviews, teleseminars, articles, email signatures, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, etc.)
  • Are you reviewing your BIO 3 months to keep up with your professional growth?
  • Is your BIO transparent and human, yet highlights your credentials and expert status?

Remember: Include at least 5 things others don’t know about you. They can be accomplishments, hobbies or interests that others may find fascinating. 

PRESENTATION

A professional presentation, photos and website get you past the gatekeeper for a longer look. Ensure that all of your on line and off line branding, photos, collateral and correspondence have a professional look and feel, and that you represent yourself as an expert – with all the bells and whistles expected of someone of your caliber. Look like a million dollar brand.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you maintaining a congruent look and presentation design with your website, newsletters, blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages?
  • Are you investing in professional headshots and lifestyle photos that portray you and your brand in your best light?
  • Are your promotional materials well written in a style and tone suitable for your industry?

Remember: Presentation is equally important for in-person meetings and media interactions. You are your brand wherever you go so dress the part at events, interviews, conferences, speaking engagements – even community gatherings. Be stylish and honor your brand!

PITCHABILITY 

Pitching an idea to the media takes some practice and perfecting, but once you understand how each media works, and how to get pitch ideas, the easier it becomes. Start by reading a reporter’s writing for insight on “how to pitch” them.

Plus, check out their Twitter, Facebook and website pages for insights on their writing style and preferences. You can also use pitch query services like HARO to reach reporters looking for your expertise, and check editorial calendars of magazines in which you’d like to be featured.

Ask yourself:

  • What story can I tell that highlights a new way of doing something, a product that will make life easier, an opinion that’s contrary to popular thinking, or a tie in to a movie or celebrity event?
  • What are some major trends right now, and what are the best ways to tie your pitch to them?
  • What are some national events that can be localized?

Remember: Don’t pitch stories already covered.
You can also try turning your pitch into a “top 10 tips” list. 

Take these 6 P’s and apply them to your business today!

I’ve been known to put clients through the funnel. That doesn’t mean that with a wave of a wand and ‘Abracadabra’ they’re liquid. Sometimes we have to sacrifice details to get a clear message – because a confused mind doesn’t buy.

Here are 5 Ways to Make Your PR Message Clear

1. Boil down your message into one sentence and not a paragraph. My message is:  I’m a PR and Small Business Marketing Consultant that helps you turn prospects and customers into raving fans.

2. Next, add building blocks by providing examples. How do you do that?

  • For Grammy ® nominee Laura Sullivan, we created a social media strategy that engaged fans and pitched the press for feature stories which helped her gain media attention and the award.
  • For Pay It Forward Retreats, we pitched the press and got a full length interview and mention in USA Today, two times in a week.
  • For a promotional products company, we created a multi-platform visibility campaign highlighting the founder’s solid marketing and tradeshow experience and aligned it with her brand to build credibility and generate leads with established brands.

3. Target the right audience. If you’re a vet, you won’t want to pitch to fashion vloggers, unless of course you’re coming out with a new line of scrubs or what I call vetwear; (that url is available BTW, in case you were wondering). Talk to prospects who are in your target market and keep testing your message until they buy (over and over again).

4. Keep your eye on your message.  You are the expert and your brand wherever you go.  Protect it and correct it. Write as an authority and influencer and reconfirm who you are and what your message is. Be consistent and constant, always and in all ways. Published writing builds credibility.

5. Create a support system of professionals, friends, JV affiliates and allies. If you find trusted partners you’d like to work with, set expectations and agree upon them in advance. By doing that, you can promote each other and all win.  I’m a big fan of free publicity and helping people out. Pave your PR Roadmap with good intention.

When you keep your message clear, calm and concise, run with it.

It doesn’t have to be a marathon.  It can just be a jog around the park – with your target audience gathered there for an afternoon.

PS – I had two fun speaking engagements in Puerto Rico last week at the Catholic University of PR and the University of PR, Mayaguez. Students abroad are just as interested in learning marketing tactics and publicity techniques as here.

Coming up – Join me, Christina Inge, Jeannette O’Neil and Heather Jackson at our Mastermind Workshop. Learn How to Develop and Manage Your Online Brand. Tuesday, March 1.  It’s at Constant Contact Headquarters and it’s FREE 10a – 2p. Space is limited – Register here  Can’t make it?  Sign up for a 15 minute Discovery Call. Ask me your burning PR question and I’ll answer it as best as I can – or find the answer for you!

Talking with small business owners and entrepreneurs as often as I do, I’m interested in their plans to promote and market themselves.

There may be a vision for a year at a time – or what they’d like to accomplish in 2016, but it often grows to a stage of overwhelm. It’s easy to do – especially when you are in charge and want to “do it all.”

News flash. You can’t do it all and certainly not all at once.

My recommendation is that you map out a general strategy for 2016, where you want to go, where you want to be seen, heard and noticed, and where you see your business coming from. Then in 90 day increments, plan it out.

Sure, highlight important conferences, meetings, deadlines, speaking engagements on an annual calendar – but work on chunks at a time. Even if that means focusing on 10 items a day to get your work done to meet your short term goals. Short term goals don’t create as much overwhelm as long term goals and worrying how you’ll get there.

We choose to worry. We choose to dream. We choose to focus on the next step.

Your next step is Firing Up your 90 Day Marketing and PR Plan. I can help with that.

It’s the beginning of December. Where will you be on March 1? I’ll be speaking at Constant Contact headquarters with Jeannine O’Neil and Christina Inge.

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

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

5 Ways to Own Your Greatness

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

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

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

YOUR TURN

Where do you hold your greatness?

Are you the world’s best kept secret?

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

Please share your answers below.

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.

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.

It’s so much fun to see clients update their brands and showcase their expertise. One of the ways we’ve been helping business owners do this is with their e-books, and promoting them to their target audience.

One of my colleagues and clients is Ceri Rueneck from www.ItsYourCall.com 

Ceri is an expert at business to business telemarketing; cold calling, lead qualification, lead nurturing and trade show event follow up. She’s a powerhouse of information on the subject, as well as a speaker, trainer and yes – an author with her e-book, Cold Calling for the Clueless.

We targeted Ceri’s e-book via national media release to her target audience; the industrial market, manufacturing/production, enterprise software, and electronics and multimedia, to name a few. In the release, we highlighted her expertise, quoted her as an authority, and offered a link to download a complimentary copy of her e-book.

Every click drives traffic to her website and blog, provides her team with sales leads, and showcases her as an expert for speaking engagements – not to mention it’s a great press opportunity to build her brand.

I got an email from Ceri this morning letting me know that a request for her e-book came in from a business in South Africa. How fun.

Take what’s in your brain and put it on paper. Collect what you’ve been writing and gather it in one place. Re-purpose your content to make a product and share your expertise.

An e-book is just one way to showcase your brand. Ceri’s brand just went international.

How ‘bout your brand? Up for the challenge?

I’m finishing this email about an hour before I’m up up and away on a hot air balloon with my two daughters, brother and little nieces. This has been a surprise for quite some time, and the excitement is downright contagious.  I’ve never been on a hot air balloon, so I’m a little nervous myself. It reminds me of the thrill of my first ride on Space Mountain!

This summer, I’ve been writing frequently and working with clients to help them get noticed, and recognized for their expert status. This of course helps expand their brand and increase revenue opportunities. Once you set your course, it’s funny how people show up to help you along the way!

Contributing to blogs and guest posting is also another way to get attention in a crowded marketplace. Here’s a post that was just released on Carol Roth’s website and @Business Unplugged on “Tips to Land Speaking Engagements.”  Speaking is one of the top,  free ways to get recognized for your expertise.  If you’re feeling wobbly, check out your local Toastmaster’s group, to learn tricks of the trade.

Check out my contribution on Landing Speaking Engagements here, and see what other experts are recommending:  http://www.carolroth.com/blog/speaking-tips-to-land-speaking-engagements

Enjoy this beautiful summer, and see my note below about open office hours. I’d love to talk with you!

-Robin

PS – Want to learn how to pitch to HARO, Reporter Connection and Profnet to get more publicity – or have other questions? Call me during my open office hours, Thursday, August 16th from 3p – 5pm ET.  I’m happy to talk with you about what’s on your mind.  Best way to reach me is by phone at  617-921-3448 or by  email  Robin@LetsMakeYouShine.com . The best to you and yours!

One night, quite late, I visited my local Border’s bookstore.  I was looking for reference material on Confidence and Charisma for an upcoming tele-class.  Most of my lesson was thought through, but being a book junkie,  I wanted more scientific data. After all, is it true that confidence and charisma can be part of your DNA?  My listeners would want to know!

Lucky for me, I had the help of a wonderful Store Manager, Dan, who spent the last 15 minutes of his shift concentrating on my project – in fact, right up to the 10:00PM closing hour. For a slow Monday night, I probably raised his store’s GNP. I purchased four books, all business related, and promised to read every one of them in the next coming month.

While I was checking out, I introduced myself to Dan and told him who I was, what I was doing, and asked if there were ever opportunities for speaking engagements at Borders.

I followed up, about six weeks later in person, and again by phone. Then, by a proposal, bio, and photo – an electronic press kit of sorts.

Next month, on May 17th I have a speaking gig at Borders.  And, it will be customized to Border’s request, but also based on my expertise.

I’ll have six weeks of free publicity and promotion from Borders, and my team will be supporting me — preparing press releases, Facebook postings, and Tweeting about my talk.

One late night visit to a book store.

One opportunity to, “just ask”.

What are you asking for?