Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kool-aid Rehab; Before You 'step' in PR Read This!

Never short of content here! For an entrepreneur,  this can be a lonely  path, but don't worry - my 'tips' will help! :) 
Put your Kool-aid away!  

To continue --- and I applaud those who have actually stuck with this blog, I promise to not disappoint.  My goal here is to provide useful information to keep new bright-eyed entrepreneurs from a frightening derailment which can lead to burned money and heartache. 

For many small businesses an aggressive paid advertising schedule with lots of frequency is usually not a viable option.  Awareness is probably needed for your brand or service and PR can be a logical step.  So before you 'step' in it read this...

Item #2. from  Kool-aid Rehab... 12-step relief plan (from my first posting) -  Public Relations

In our 'new world' of communication and personal discovery (a la no more direct selling because consumers aren't listening) PR can be the most powerful 'voice' available to small business for awareness and actual selling.  Be warned;  It is wildly competitive, but it is a very effective way to get in front of your audience.

To begin with basics; 'Public Relations' is NOT advertising.... it's so much more and it is lasting.   When a company is fortunate to receive a positive PR placement (especially with national exposure) it is like getting a golf hole-in-one. Conversely, when things go wrong or you have a bad review ... PR is a devastating ink stain on the Internet which is difficult to remove.  Care and expertise must be taken before starting down this track.

To be clear, PR is high-risk (with your time) and if done correctly - high-reward  (like spiting on lucky dice) .... and full-on heart-stopping when after months of prospecting, paying-by-the-hour..... equals..... zero results.   To minimize this outcome you must  read whatever you can about the process of Public Relations and specifically 'Media Relations'.  To get the most bang-for-your-buck... I recommend thoroughly researching media outlets/writers which relate to the audience you would like to reach.

Next, clearly define this group to help articulate this to a professional who can be of help to you.  Note: 'a professional' (singularly) an agency may not be needed. Because this area of business is about relationships, creative thinking and clever resourcefulness you need a person.     What you are looking for is an independent superior PR/Media Relations professional and someone with VERY current contacts... (or move on).   Those who are really in their game will have an active list of contacts (within the area you would like to reach) to minimize time (which is your $$$).  Also, if selling something tangible, be prepared and plan to distribute product samples to your targeted media prospects.  (there's no way to get around that) 

If you decide to take on the Public Relations responsibility  yourself - get a helmet to wear because it is like banging your head on concrete. I am not going to sugar-coat this -  I do know this 'activity' well ...  after paying for superior-talent (without contacts) after time, I decided to make my own 'friends' (err, I mean contacts)

One of my new 'friends' I cleverly cultivated from a round-about-crazy-way was behind-the-scenes of ThE Dr. Oz Show... and as anyone knows... getting in there is SOLID GOLD (like Oprah) ... so after a very tenacious 7 months of follow-up ... the stars lined up and we were 'in' waaay 'in' ..... under the unimaginable banner of 'Secrets from Dr. Oz's House'! can you imagine?! ... even then, it was a tough process that is, until the segment actually ran nationally .... whew! This program even ran twice!    I was bruised and exhausted but  it was well worth the effort in the way of skyrocketing sales and brand awareness which continues today.    We have also had other PR 'hit's not to that level again (for now) but we know it works in finding our audience and it can be a powerful tool for you as well.  You will need to allocate time, determination and patience. 

Things to think about, right?  


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About Me- I'm everywhere!

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anywhere and everywhere, USA, Illinois, United States
I'm a sassy, very distracted older mom...with lots of wild stories (and rants) about my family and life...Daughter 20, college student, sassy, unpredictable, violin playing, animal enthusiast...Son, 17 video addict, Chess playing-star / trombone player...husband (old, tired, chronically stressed and impatient, but a good sport nonetheless) The underbelly of life for me; I’m a bright eyed ‘entrepreneur’ – just now completing Kool-aid Rehab a frightening 12 step process to figure out what I am doing with my life. On the home front, we have a gang of animals that keep the place lively too! 'Emma', dirty ungroomed Sheepdog, 'Lollipop' a smart Border Collie/Chow Chow also referred to as 'Daddy's Little Fatty', 2 cats; one eyed 'Winky' and emotionally disturbed- beyond crabby ....'Babycakes' (it's complicated,) 1 bird 'Tutu', and finally 'Templeton' (a.k.a. Little Shit)- a teeny dog who loves to 'run' .... more trouble than all put together and dumb as a stick. but we love him! :)