Marketing your startup can be a challenge, but it is one of the most important activities you must do. You have to view marketing and a broad set of activities that include not just advertising and sales, but also public/customer relations and promotions. Here is some food for thought as you consider PR and customer relations as part of your marketing strategy for your newborn business. PR Secrets for start ups Getting press for your new start up PR of startups How to use PR firms at startup Finally a rather lengthy video on PR for Startups from Two-Side Brain.
Lions are not the scariest thing to face for most professionals, clients are. Most business claim they are customer-oriented, but that is just lip service. How many actually engage in any meaningful way with their clients or customers? Very few. Why? The simple answers is that they are scared to death. Of what you may ask? They are scared that the clients will actually tell them something that they don’t want to hear. Basically they are afraid of two things. First, they are afraid of hearing anything negative about their product, service, support,virtually anything and everything. Hearing negative things hurts. It can be painful. People and businesses try to avoid pain at all costs. Second, engaging the client may cause them to hear something on which they may have to act. In other words, the company may have to change something they are doing. People and companies don’t like to change. Change can be painful and as we just said above. People and businesses try to avoid change at all costs. However, getting real customer feedback is vital. Understanding real customer wants, desires and well as their concerns and problems is how you can learn the actionable points that can separate your company from the pack. It is want will give you a competitive advantage and (drum roll please – super normal profits. So enduring a lithe short term pain.
If you are thinking about business as usual, you need a wake up call. Public relations, marketing, communications etc. How PR is Changing View more presentations from kellimatthews.
Used car salesman and PR professionals should seemingly have little in common. However, many do. See if any of the below practices sound familiar. 1. Loss-Leader Advertising: Notice the PR services on different site listings that come with unreasonably low prices? Actually, the PR firms who posted those do not intend on selling such services. Those listings only serve as bait in order for consumers to approach the firm. When they successfully discourage you in availing such services, they immediately introduce a more extensive and much costly service in exchange. Since the new service is more advantageous in so many ways compared to the previous, you gladly accept the offer and pay more in the end. 2. Lowballing: This is a technique used by a lot of PR firms to wear down potential customers. It starts with the “consultant” quoting a very low price for a certain product or service, and then suggests that you go to others and find a price that can beat what they have given. Since the amount is already absurdly low, you are expected not to find anything better. You go back to the first firm you visited only to find that the salesman still has to confirm the price with the manager and doesn’t get approved. This process is done repeatedly until you become too tired and decide to just go with what they’re.
Creating a Wider Sales Funnel by Moving the Free Line Eben Pagan is one of the many entrepreneurs who had influenced a lot of people from all walks of life. He has shared countless lessons and has inspired many individuals. Pagan emphasized, “Give your BEST stuff away. For free!” People would usually hear him saying this. This philosophy may not work for all enterprises, according to him but it will not hurt to try. He added that figuring out what to give away for free is indeed a challenging task. There should be a balance of being generous and thinking of ways to attract more in return. If you mull this over, you are exposing yourself to a mental exercise, as you get to engage in the chicken-and-egg riddle. Most likely, your brain starts to enumerate the means by which you can give away things for free. You are most probably toying on the idea of getting what you paid for. With all these in mind, you might be experiencing headache as you attempt to make things work to your advantage. Well, worry not. There are online services that are free and which will proffer you excellent customer services and products. The question – What is it about the web that makes giving away things for free so necessary and easy? – might have popped your head. Maybe you are.
According to the Urban Dictionary – An expression of one’s awareness of one’s own personal shortcomings. For example, The morning after sending a drunken e-mail to the girl he was secretly pining for, John woke up, and, remembering what he had done, said, “Man do I suck!”. Most PR firms (and companies in general) will go on and on about how great they are. “We are great at this…. and we are great at that….” They act as if they say it long enough and to as many people as they can, it will become true. Well, we do believe in the power of positive thinking, BUT we also know that saying that a frog is cat will never make it so no matter how many times or how loud we say it. That’s stupid and delusional at best. Most companies are very poor at most things…in fact, we they suck at most things. It is a miracle that they stay in business at all when analyze them. We are not yet ready to discuss the Power of Negative Thinking (we are still researching), but we are ready to say that their is Power in Admitting the Negative . We try (and yes it is a struggle) to admit where we are bad. We suck at lots of things. Sucking is what drives us to do better. We are getting.
There are only two types of companies these days – the quick and the dead. One of the best books we have seen recently that deals with marketing and PR in real time is David Meerman Scott’s Real-Time Marketing & PR. The grist of the book and it’s message is – Gone are the days when you could plan out your marketing and public relations programs well in advance and release them on your timetable. It’s a real-time world now, and if you’re not engaged, then you’re on your way to marketplace irrelevance. Instead of us retelling the story get his mini-ebook here. Portions of this e-book appear in Real-Time Marketing & PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now by David Meerman Scott.
According to Wikipedia – “Green PR is a sub-field of public relations that communicates an organization‘s corporate social responsibility or environmentally friendly practices to the public. The goal is to produce increased brand awareness and improve the organization’s reputation. Tactics include placing news articles, winning awards, communicating with environmental groups and distributing publications.” Many companies are flocking sub-field pr specialists to boost their green quotient. Green is the new black. While there are many that don’t want to be black, they certainly want to be green.But just because everyone else is trying to push their greenness, does that mean you should? A general rule of thumb is – To have success in business do the opposite of what most everyone else is doing. However if you are environmentally friendly as part of your normal course of business, tell that story. But don’t do what many companies do and claim green where there is no green. Some firms have fallen into the trap of greenwashing, which is spinning a story usually deceptively that the company is greener that it actually is. Some of these green pr firms try to lead you down a path that you may not want to go. Be careful. It’s a slippery slope.
Emily Keogh, the founder of Palm PR, wrote an article full of tips for small businesses tips for Entrepreneur Country. While you should go and read the full post, below are the 10 Tips she highlighted. “PR TIPS 1. The first step is to be clear about your brand’s USPs. These are the things that only your business does and what differentiates you in the marketplace. These will become the press hooks that capture the attention of the media. If you’re not clear on your USPs, invest time to think about the things that you do best and create some key points around that 2. Define what you want to achieve from PR. Are you looking to reach out to your current customer base to keep them informed of what your business is doing or are you wanting to target new audiences? Make sure the publications you are targeting and the type of articles you are trying to get published are dove-tailing and working towards securing those aims. Are you looking to drive footfall? Increase awareness? Drive up the brand value? 3. Build relationships with journalists. If there are certain publications that you need to feature in regularly then make face to face contact with the journalists that create the publication so that they understand your business and can put a face to the brand 4. Be targeted. Research your.
As you see we are totally revamping the place. It should settle down shortly. We hope it will be worth it. Stay tuned. Here is something just for fun, while you wait 🙂.