With a front-page placement on the Sun-Sentinel Business page. Congrats to our amazing client, RoyalText.com!
I got this info from Trish McNamara, Senior Editor at Girls’ Life magazine. This is a great opportunity for exposure.
Here’s the opportunity:
Hope you had a fabulous summer. Can you believe we’re planning holiday stories already?! Wanted to let you know that Girls’ Life Magazine is currently hard at work on our December/January 2014 issue and will be doing a huge “Holiday Hits” giveaway for the entire month of December instead of an editorial gift guide. Please find more info on the print and online opportunity below.
HELP SPREAD SOME CHEER
It’s the season of giving! This December, we’re looking to gift our readers with the coolest treats around. Ya know, the products that are topping every teen girl’s wish list this year. From beauty sets and apparel to hi-tech treats and jewelry, we’re looking for it all!
Have a great product? Tell us about ’em! Products chosen for this giveaway calendar will appear in our December/January 2014 issue in the first 10% of the magazine (seen by over 2.16 million girls and their families) as well as on girlslife.com during the entire month of December. The exposure is fantastic, both in print and online (over 6 million monthly media impressions) as well as through our social media platforms—all perfect timing with the holiday shopping rush.
SO, YOU WANT YOUR PRODUCT TO BE CONSIDERED?
Email the following to firstname.lastname@example.org by MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30:
- A press release or complete description of the product, including value
- An image of the product (high resolution 300 DPI preferred)
- Quantity available to give away
I’ll get back to you ASAP with confirmation and let you know if your product has been chosen for inclusion.
If your product is selected, we will require full product information, the completion of our participation form and a high resolution (300 DPI) image of the product, off model and against a white background.
Typically we ask for three to five giveaways per product, but depending on the value of the product and your company’s inventory, this can be adjusted. If at all possible, we also ask that companies hold on to the product until winners are chosen in August, and then ship directly to the winners.
I’m just going to say it. Creating (great) content – articles, blog posts, social media updates and shares, infographics, e-books, video and more — is hard. It takes time, effort, and sometimes, money (if you outsource all or part of it).
But creating content isn’t something that’s optional. In today’s world, creating and sharing content is a must, for any type of business or organization that wants to succeed.
As with any activity that supports your business or organization, you want to get the most out of it. Here are five ways to save time (and of course effort and money) in your content creation and sharing efforts:
- Create a Content Calendar. By keeping track of the content you create, as well as the content you’ve sourced from others and shared, you’ll be able to track what works best, as well as making sure you’re not duplicating efforts. It also allows you to effectively manage your daily content activities. If you need help putting together a Content Calendar, just contact me.
- Include keywords and links back to your site in all of the content you create. This will maximize your content’s Search Engine Optimization. If you create infographics, don’t forget to embed codes at the bottom of each graphic. Graphics without embedded codes gain only a third of the links vs. graphics with the code.
- Spend at least as much time promoting your content as you do creating it. Promote your content through social media as well as traditional marketing channels.
- Re-purpose old content. It’s so much easier to update great content. You can also change formats — change an article to an infographic or a blog post into a video.
- Spend time on titles and headlines, as well as first lines. With dwindling attention spans, you have to grab a reader or viewer immediately.
These tips will help maximize the time and money you spend creating content. What other tips can you share?
Did you know that almost every business makes this mistake – and it costs them countless sales?
What is it? The answer: not including a call to action in every communication.
Definition of Call to Action
A call to action is a way for people to interact with you and your company in a way that gets them more familiar with your products and services.
Typically prospects will provide contact information in exchange for getting something from you. Prospects are then added to your email or snail mail list, and you can continue communicating with (and marketing to) them.
What Makes a Great Call to Action?
- Urgency – Includes limited time offers, deadlines or an implied urgency that people are missing out on critical information or deals if they don’t act quickly
- Value – Make sure the offer is valuable to your target market, whether it’s important information or a discount on a product or service
- Free – Most people can’t resist getting something of value for free, and will exchange their contact information for a newsletter or e-book they think will help their business or lives, or a coupon or discount offers where they can save money
- Images – Make your Call to Action stand out, by using items such as buttons, bright colors and format breaks
Examples of Calls to Action
1. Newsletter Sign-Up
Here is the “Pop Up” newsletter sign-up Call to Action that shows up when you go to my Website.
2. Free consult
I include this in my LinkedIn Headline. You can see it and get more info in my article in Small Business Trends, The 5 Essential Elements of an Optimized and Useful LinkedIn Profile.
3. Discounts and Coupons
Did you know that, according to research from ExactTarget, 58% of Facebook users expect to receive discounts or promotions when they ‘like’ a business page?
I say: Give ‘em what they want! Here’s an example:
Like Hockey Stick Outlet on Facebook and get 5% OFF your next order!
4. Free report or e-book
On the landing pages for each of my information products I offer a free “taste” of the information that I sell. Here is what I currently offer on the page for my Special Report on How to Sell Your Products to Target:
Where Should You Put Your Calls to Action?
As stated above, you should include them every time you communicate with customers and prospects, including:
- Social Media Profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- E-Mail Signature Lines
- At the end of every article and blog post
- Pay-per-click Ads
So to sum up, you can increase the number of prospects and sales you make in one simple way — by including a call to action in every communication. Take the time to do this, and your business will thank you!
While many business people are on vacation, or at least taking a break from working too hard, July is actually the busiest month for those of us pitching top magazines to feature products for December Holiday Gift Guides.
Major magazines with deadlines five or six months in advance to pitch products for editorial coverage are described as “long lead.” These magazines have similar deadlines for ads, and are usually printed and sent to subscribers a month in advance of their cover date, hence the need to submit Gift Guide pitches early. Read the rest of this entry »
As a Product P.R. specialist, and a dedicated consumer, I read lots of magazines.
Today, as I was reading an article on the elliptical at the gym, I saw a certain accessory that I had to have. It was also a great example of product publicity.
When I got home, I went to the Website to order it. Needless to say, I couldn’t find it on the Website. Without going into the details, it did remind me that your job (or the job of your P.R. person or company) doesn’t end with getting a great publicity placement. In fact, it’s just the beginning.
More often than not, I see companies with terrific editorial coverage (which isn’t easy to get), that are not maximizing the promotional and sales opportunities of that coverage.
Here are 3 things you should always do after you receive great media coverage:
- Post a banner, image or shout-out on your Website – Something like “Beauty Nectar Featured in the June Issue of XYZ Magazine” or “See Us Talking About the Recent Stock Market Dip on Fox News” and include a link (on your Website if possible) to the article / video where it was featured, as well as a “Buy Now” link for people to be able to buy the item if it’s a product. Check out an example of how to do this is for the amazing company, Good Karmal. Note: I recommend putting this information at the top of the page for maximum visibility.
- If you get a top-tier media placement, send an email message to your contact list, telling them you can’t help sharing the great news. Include a brief description of the piece and a link to the article / video.
- Send your message out via social media. You can send it at different times and in several ways, but at least once do the smart thing and thank the media outlet and the writer / producer in your message. Use the @ mention functionality in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to make sure that the media outlet and writer actually see it. Here is a terrific Twitter example:
Jessica C. Andrews @Ms_Andrews
To sum up — don’t waste an amazing publicity placement. Make sure to promote it in many ways – and watch your sales rise!
Sometimes it can be pretty hard to get your product featured in fourth quarter Holiday Gift Guides.
What can make the process easier?
Starting with a great product.
What Makes a Great Product?
Most people underestimate the importance of a great product. That’s because if you make or sell a product, you always think it’s great. But what makes it great to the media is probably very different. Here is what makes a product newsworthy:
- A truly new product (just launched in the last few months or about to be launched)
- Unique, breakthrough product
- Works well, tastes great, etc. (In most cases the media will test out your product if they are interested in featuring it in a story)
- Colorful packaging / visually appealing – especially important for visual media
- Product ties into trends – organic/green, political, etc.
- Priced right – less than key price points ($100, $50, $25, $10) or priced high if truly a luxury item
If your product can’t be described this way, consider making changes before trying to get publicity.
Learn more about pitching to Holiday Gift Guides, and get a free list of Editorial Calendars (my Secret Weapon), here.
Thanks to a reporter today, for inspiring me to write my first blog post in over a year.
Here was his response to my pitch:
Dear Ms. Fisher,
Come, now. Can you really tout this with a straight face?
Now, that sounds like a challenge! And the short answer is yes! What do you think? Here’s the pitch:
Email Subject Line: Healthy Cotton Candy? Yep — It’s USDA Certified Organic – And It’s Better than Golden Corral
June 27, 2012
Hi (Media Contact),
How do you know cotton candy’s back? When Golden Corral, the national restaurant chain, announces it has added cotton candy to its buffet!
But cotton candy, like so many other treats, is so unhealthy it’s usually reserved as a special occasion treat.
Good news — there’s a new option – healthy, delicious, even cost-effective, organic cotton candy, from Seelect. You can see it here: http://zfpr.presskit247.com/images/SiteImages/Site127/Seelect-Cotton-Candy.jpg
So for July 4th, or anytime, just pop Seelect’s Organic Cotton Candy Base (made from organic floss sugar and flavors) into your counter-top cotton candy machine and get delicious cones only 100 calories each!
And forget plain old cotton candy – why not try fun and yummy organic flavors and colors including mandarin orange, blue bubble gum, cherry and more.
Best of all, the USDA certified organic cotton candy base is just $5 a pound – which makes 16 cotton candy cones. A terrific bargain!
You can check out all 60 plus flavors at http://www.seelecttea.com/index.php/flavors-flavor-concentrates-natural-flavors-organic-flavors-flavor-drops/organic-cotton-candy-base.html.
All items are available for purchase at www.seelecttea.com.
Seelect Tea has been a maker of premium teas since 1927. Today California-based Seelect Tea offers thousands of natural and organic teas, food ingredients, flavors and colors.
Learn more at www.seelecttea.com.
Please let me know if you need high-resolution images, samples or more info.
Margie Zable Fisher
Zable Fisher Public Relations
Now is the time to promote your products to media outlets – since many top magazines have publication deadlines during the summer for fourth quarter Holiday Gift Guides.
I’m sure many or all of you would love to have your products featured in Oprah Magazine, or in Real Simple. Of course, thousands of other product companies would like that as well.
To stand out from the competition, and to maximize your success, I’m going to share with you some of my pitching secrets and tips, to help you land top publicity placements that lead to sales.
For many years I’ve helped hundreds of clients get year-round, and especially fourth quarter, product media coverage. In fact, my team and I have already begun pitching Clients for fourth quarter publicity coverage.
Join us on Wednesday, June 22, 2011, from noon to 1 p.m. EASTERN for this free teleseminar - Get Fourth Quarter Publicity and Cash in on Fourth Quarter Sales.
During this presentation you will learn:
- What types of products top magazines are looking to feature
- What to include in a pitch to get the attention of top Magazine Editors
- How to find the right media contacts to pitch your product to
- Discounts on tools you need to pitch the media
- The five pieces of information you must include in your pitch to make it successful
- Examples of successful product placements – and why they got in
- And much more!
Are you guilty of saying this?
“I Spent All of My Money on (My Product, My Building, Technology) and I Have No Money for Marketing and Public Relations”
Most of the time I hear this from new or start-up businesses, but sometimes I hear it from established businesses, as well.
Why This Makes Me Cringe (and Not for the Reason You Might Think)
You might think that I hate hearing this line because it means that someone doesn’t have a lot of money to spend. But that’s okay, because I have many do-it-yourself Public Relations and Marketing products that can fit any budget.
The real reason I cringe when I hear this is because:
- These business owners aren’t equating marketing and P.R. as investments, as they do the other places where they put their money.
- They devalue my expertise (unconsciously), by saying that they have been willing to spend (sometimes a lot of) money on everything else, but not with me.
Imagine this conversation: Let’s say I call up a company and say, “I’d like to inquire about your products.” And you say, “Great, what would you like?” And I say, “Well, I’ve spent all of my money on marketing and P.R., so I don’t have any money for your products.” Kind of puts a damper on the conversation, doesn’t it?
The good news: I have one answer that applies to everyone. And here it is:
The right marketing budget is always more than $0.
If you think I’m joking, I can tell you that the second most frequent comment I get is: My budget is $0.
Here’s the issue: If you don’t market and sell your product or service, then there really is no business. Even companies in the business of marketing and P.R. know they have to spend money on marketing and P.R.
Here are some places where you can spend marketing dollars:
- Web site creation and design
- Email marketing
- Online advertising (Google Adwords, banners, etc.)
- Print and broadcast advertising
- Design and printing costs for all print materials, such as business cards, letterhead, newsletters, brochures, etc.
- Public Relations
- Trade shows
- Any other special events needed
So How Much Should I Spend on Each Area?
Ah, that is the question. And let me tell you that even though I was a Finance major and have an MBA, I still hate creating budgets. But they are necessary to run a business.
Now before I go into this, I promise that I will get tons of disagreement on this, as the one thing that everyone agrees on is that there is no “one” way to create a marketing budget. So I’ll just go with this anyway:
The most popular method of setting up a marketing budget is to budget marketing as a percentage of sales. The average allocation usually ranges between 9-12% of the annual budget, while the smallest businesses may go as low as 2%. If a business is launching a new product or service, advertising and publicity needs are greater, so the percentage will increase. The main advantage to using a percentage of sales is that the marketing budget will increase, or decrease, with the sales revenue of the company.
This means that the newer your business, the more you should spend on marketing and promotion. Kind of lousy, huh? Just when you have all of these start-up expenses, you have to spend more on marketing and promotion. But that’s the way it is – because people don’t know about you yet. After being in business for over eight years, I get business coming my way all the time, without spending a dime. But it happens because I spent more money initially on marketing.
So here’s a very basic example:
You project $100,000 in annual sales.
You have been in business three years and decide you want to allocate 10% of your budget to marketing, or $10,000.
Here is one scenario for your annual marketing investment:
- Web Site Updates (this assumes you already have a Web site): $3,000
- E-mail Marketing: $2,000
- Google Adwords: $2,000
- Public Relations: $2,000
- Printing: $1,000
After deciding this is a workable budget, here is how you would determine what you can do and what you can outsource:
1. Web Site Updates: Outsource
2. E-mail Marketing: You can probably have someone design your emails for you, but you’ll need to write the text for the emails and pay for an email system to send and track your programs (such as Constant Contact or 1shoppingcart), so you’ll probably have to manage that yourself
3. Google Adwords: You’ll have to write the Ads and manage that yourself – it’s a low budget
4. Public Relations: You’ll have to do it yourself; you can invest in DIY PR products and databases of media contacts
5. Printing: Outsource
So don’t make potential marketing and public relations vendors cringe. Create a basic marketing budget, and you can have real conversations with your vendors, and a business with a plan to grow.