October 31, 2008
Just for Fun, Media Savvy 101
Congratulations to Cindy Loughran and Pam Blanton, both of whom posted heart-felt messages to the blog about why they would like to win a Publici-Tea™-TO-GO! Gift Bundle to propel their businesses to a new level of fabulous.
Both responded to my October 26 request for action, and both of their stories touched my heart. Both are winners for getting into action. They will be even better equipped to earn free publicity, now that they are the proud owners of Publici-Tea™-TO-GO gift bundles to support their success.
As you ponder your own DIY publicity success path and inspired action, remember this. The highways of life are littered with squirrels who couldn’t make up their minds. Make up your mind and get into action on your DIY publicity plans. Great rewards are waiting.
October 30, 2008
Publici-Tea™ Graduate Success Story
Kristen Marie Schuerlein, founder of Affirmagy, just earned an influential blog post from Media Mogul Michelle Anton. Here is a link to the blog post to which you can add your own comment to lend fuel to this powerful and timely message about the need for love during these uncertain times. If you are doing something equally fabulous to infuse positive energy into the marketplace right now, what is it and how can others support you? Now is a timely opportunity to share that message.
October 29, 2008
PR Beyond the Backyard, Seattle Chocolate Company
What a thrill to read a feature about Seattle Chocolate Company CEO Jean Thompson in the November 2008 issue of More magazine. This is the one with Jane Fonda, Sharon Stone, and Tea Leoni on the cover. The story appears on page 70 under the title, “Success can be sweet: These three women took a passion for chocolate and turned it into a money-making mid-life business.” Jean’s story leads the feature, and it is fabulous. Jean really knows how to convey her authenticity, offer sassy and memorable sound bites that ring true, and invite support for the products she and her team are passionate about creating as they bring “What Happiness Tastes Like™” to a hungry nation. Next month, we understand that Essence magazine will be featuring Seattle Chocolates in the holiday gift guide, contributing even more momentum to the company’s efforts. As the article in More magazine suggests, chocolate is the ultimate comfort food. Bring it on!
October 29, 2008
Event Promotion, Media Savvy 101
Last night, I was honored to speak on a panel with Becky Monk, assistant managing editor for the Puget Sound Business Journal, and Whitney Keyes, publicist, writer, marketer, and video producer, as we discussed tips and techniques to earn free publicity at Seattle University.
To listen to it right now, please click the play button.
To follow is the text of my presentation, just in case you weren’t able to attend.
These are very challenging and changing times in the media. Newspaper circulation is dropping precipitously. Internet usage is at an all time high. New blogs are launching and earn new readers as others fizzle. Social networks are launching and finding new members as online communities take root and grow. In fact, Technorati — the leading blog search engine and most comprehensive source of information on the blogosphere — indexes more than 1.5 million new blog posts in real time and introduces millions of readers to blog and social media content, and the numbers are growing daily. If your own blog posts aren’t yet among them, they soon should be.
All this is to say that the ever changing nature of the traditional and online media today can be overwhelming to ponder at a time when getting your message delivered seems more essential than ever.
At the same time, the economy is giving everyone a run for the money, adding even more challenge to the prospect of doing business today. The Puget Sound Business Journal reported last week that some entrepreneurs are electing to stay at their jobs, rather than jump into the marketplace with their start-up ideas. Others are finding it hard to secure the angel financing they need to take flight. Still others are downsizing and electing to bootstrap their efforts as opposed to taking on debt or securing equity partners.
These are not easy times, yet these are still very exciting times to share compelling stories with the media that can break through the message clutter, solve problems consumers and businesses are eager to address, and fuel prosperity for those willing to jump into the media relations game.
Those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get into the media relations game by sharing their stories, ideas, products, and causes with the world can most definitely prosper. No one cares more about your success than you do. With times as tough as they are, now is the perfect time to acquire new skills to advance your success – like the skills of DIY publicity. When you learn and apply your lessons well, you will invite more success with greater ease. And, when your business grows substantially, you’ll be in a much better position to hire out your public relations because you know more than enough about the process to be effective on your own to be sure to engage the right partners when the timing is right to keep your stories in the news in a favorable, ongoing basis.
Just last week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to promote the amazonkindle – Amazon’s revolutionary, wireless reading device that makes it easy to catalog and read volumes of books in one easy-to-carry and operate electronic device. Oprah was so enthusiastic about it that everyone in the studio audience received one as a gift. Viewers were offered a compelling online discount to invite their purchases. Now, the kindle is a “must have” item on the holiday gift lists for millions of people worldwide – even during these challenging economic times.
The folks at Bacon Salt didn’t have the big bucks to launch their new product with the aid and budgets required of a public relations agency. Rather, they took their new product idea to the social media. What began as a half-joking idea – what if there was a spice that made everything taste like bacon – soon become a bustling business that has sold 600,000 units in 18 months, thanks mostly to the harnessing of the word-of-mouth power of social media.
The Bacon Salt marketing story began actually before the product existed. In July 2007, Dave Lefkow, a former executive at online employment company Jobster, posted a MySpace profile dedicated to Bacon Salt. He and partner Justin Esch then spent countless hours mining MySpace data, sending messages and “friending” anyone who declared an affinity for bacon in their profiles. They found 37,000 MySpace members mentioned bacon in profiles. The “spamming” as Esch initially called it, generated a surprising result: not only were people adding Bacon Salt, they were ordering the product even before Lefkow and Esch had ramped up production. Their “cute side project” as Lefkow described it, suddenly got serious. “It was one person telling another persona telling another person,” he said. “It was amazing and scary at the same time. We weren’t prepared for the onslaught.”
Stacy’s Pita Chips is another example. In 2007 with big intentions and a small budget, the company reached out to 133,000 people named “Stacy” in America by sending each one a party kit of Stacy’s Pita Chips to enjoy, just in time for a big football weekend. The company researched the top 10 Stacy’s hot zones with the highest concentration of people named “Stacy” and did a mailing with this message included:
“We hope you enjoyed getting your free box of Stacy’s Pita Chips as much as we enjoyed sending them to you. If you did, why not share the joy by sending a FREE gift box to a friend? Since we’ve already sent them to every Stacy, you’re free to send them to Bill or Mary or Cheryl or John—or whoever you think would enjoy Stacy’s chips the most.”
That got a lot of people talking and blogging about the company’s targeted efforts to reach out. Soon, Stacy’s Pita Chips was enjoying dramatic sales gains. Not long after, the company was purchased by Frito Lay, and Stacy is – no doubt – living the life uncommon.
Now is the time to find your authentic story and consider the best ways to share it. Now is also a great time to avail yourself to abundant and often free resources that can help you get a handle on what is changing in the media and figure out the best way to share your story.
In 2001, I got inspired to serve as a DIY publicity resource for small business owners everywhere. Today, if you “Google” the term “do-it-yourself” publicity, my name and blog show up on page one of the search. By taking my own DIY publicity advice, I’ve earned a solid reputation for serving this need. I haven’t spent money on advertising. I have no debt. I don’t answer to partners. I just serve in the way that I know now. If this is what has unfolded for me by deploying the power of DIY publicity, what else might be possible for you when you get into the media relations game and play to win in only the ways that you can?
Consider these questions:
How much of the story telling responsibility for your product, service, idea or cause can you embrace on a do-it-yourself basis?
Can you apply an hour a day to telling your story by writing articles, making story pitches, or sharing quality press releases with the world? That is a great place to start.
Can you visit informational websites like www.theblogsquad.biz and www.blogging101.com to show you the way to blogging success? Or, can you “Google” the terms “how to blog” and follow the easy links to learn essential information to empower your success?
Can you sign up on at least one social network and make authentic contributions and connections that make sense for the ways you are serving the marketplace? Examples to reference include www.linkedin.com, www.biznik.com, and www.plaxo.com.
Can you sign up today for www.helpareporter.com and begin responding to media queries that could put your ideas and expertise into the media spotlight?
6) Can you attend a do-it-yourself publicity workshop or avail yourself to free publicity tips, ideas, and resources to grown your knowledge, advance your confidence, and get into action? To that end, if you would like to receive 25 newspaper columns to empower your DIY publicity success, I invite you to sign up to receive my free Authentic Visibility ezine at www.mainstreetmediasavvy.com. If you would like to avail yourself to the tools and workshops I have created to empower your DIY publicity success, I would be honored to be of service.
The New York Times once said that good publicity lasts forever. I always like to say that bad publicity lasts even longer. What is it going to take to compel you into action, and won’t you start today? Speaking of getting into action, there are just eight spots left for the November 14 Publici-Tea™ Half-Day Workshop at The Village Bellevue. Why not treat yourself to the gift of the Publici-Tea so you can get your story ready to broadcast to the world in the winning way that will make you proud? Register at this link. And, just one person has posted a comment so far to win a Publici-Tea™-to-Go! Gift Bundle at the blog post below about getting into action. Why not post your own comment and get into the game to win? I can’t wait to read your post.
October 27, 2008
Media Savvy 101
Check out these useful tips to make sure your attempts to earn online buzz through bloggers are successful. These tips come from Michelle Tennant Nicholson’s Wasabi Club Newsletter. She is chief story teller for Wasabi Publicity.
1. It’s never appropriate to demand that a blogger cover your company and the personal touch goes a lot further than the full court press PR agency tackle!
2. DON’T BLOG-BLAST! Do your research. This is the time of old PR, new PR, and Web 2.0. Don’t “blog-blast” a bunch of bloggers that have nothing to do with your news.
3. Don’t try to fake out bloggers. They’re smart and they’re dedicated and above all they are really good researchers and savvy about the Web.
4. Make the virtual connection via your blog first. Send a note to the blogger making them aware that you covered their blog. But always keep Tip#2 in mind. Do your research and don’t note bloggers on your blog if there is no relation between the two.
5. Utilize Technorati.com to build your list of blogs to target.
6. Send your news on a timely basis in relation to the blogger’s schedule, not yours. If you know for instance on Thursdays they always review new technologies, new books etc. then keep that in mind when sending news. (Tip – Don’t send it the day you want it covered!)
7. Let bloggers know about the beta! What this means is it’s good to give bloggers the scoop on things early and count them in as part of your PR push. It’s a mistake at this juncture of relationship focused PR and marketing to do anything but!
8. Don’t send out the same old approach letters! Be creative and above all be brief.
9. Don’t ask a blogger to highlight your company or its Web site unless they offer to.
10. Don’t send anything to a blogger that’s not newsworthy and don’t ask the blogger if you can preview their post!
October 26, 2008
Action is a beautiful thing. “Get Booked on Oprah” Expert Susan Harrow picked up one of her “Sell Yourself without Selling Your Soul” books while presenting to a sold-out audience at the Grande Sized Publici-Tea™ on 10-17. She said she was going to give away one of her books.
So many people say they want things. Few step into action. Harrah Brown, founder of www.athomewithharrah.com, jumped out of her chair and walked to the podium to receive the gift. She got into action. Everyone else just sat and watched. Harrah saw an opportunity and reached out to get the book she wanted. I have no doubt that her DIY publicity path will be paved with equally intentional steps to pave her way to buzz, new opportunities, and the gold she intends to earn through her business. I can’t wait to report about her successes in the Publici-Tea™ Graduate Success Story category for this blog.
I tried the same approach on Saturday as a spoke about DIY publicity at the Money Wise Business Women Conference at North Seattle Community College. I held up a set of Authentic Visibility Publicity Tips Booklets and said something about the difference between inertia and activity was powerful. I asked the audience, “Who wants a set of tips booklets right now?” A few folks raised their hands. I asked again. Who wants to get into action to make these tips booklets their own? One guest got out of her chair to approach the podium. She received what she wanted. There really is something to be said for getting into action.
If the action’s of these women inspire you to jump into motion to get what you want, here’s something more. I am going to give away one of the new Publici-Tea-TO-GO! gift bundles to a blog reader who posts a comment at this blog about why this item is exactly what she needs to build the buzz right now. If you need to get known as an expert, pitch an article the media can’t resist, and promote your products, services, ideas or cause in your own backyard or around the world, the Publici-Tea™-TO-GO! gift bundle delivers what you need to know to do it all. And, you can savor the information in the time it takes to enjoy a really good cup of tea. Best of all, 10% of the net profits from the year-round sale of these gift bundles benefit NW Hope and Healing, a non profit that delivers healing baskets to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. You must post your blog comment between now and Friday, October 31, which marks the end of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’ll choose the winner from the comments that show the most heart. Will yours be the winner? Act now because the difference between inertia and action is a mighty thing, and a fabulous, empowering gift bundle is waiting. And, if you would rather meet in me person and benefit from the bounty of the Publici-Tea™ Half Day Workshop coming to The Village Bellevue on November 14 from 12:30 – 5 p.m., sign up now. We have only 12 seats available for this session, and action is the key to make sure one of them has your name on it.
October 26, 2008
The Fastest Growing Private Companies special section within the Puget Sound Business Journal is among the most widely read, so earning an article placement within it can be a big deal for building buzz for ideas and services much needed by the readers. Recognizing this, a few weeks ago, I helped my husband Steve Juetten write a very comprehensive pitch about how to approach the process of decision making to achieve better results — especially during these uncertain times. We went a bit beyond the standard pitch and actually prepared an article, complete with his credentials. Yesterday, we were pleased to find the full text of the submission within the special section. Here is the pitch we sent so you can write similar pitches to advance your own tips to support others’ success. These are good tips to support your decision making, so read on and enjoy.
Hi Steve, What a wild window of opportunity we are all swimming in with all the news brewing about financial crisis, bank takeovers, and more. It seems like the timing is especially good to help readers make better business decisions, no matter what unfolds. Below is an article pitch that would be well placed in the Fastest Growing Companies special section you have upcoming that would address this issue in a highly useful way. Do you think you can make room for it? I’ll call you in a few days to check your interest, unless I hear from you first. Thanks Steve.
Three Secrets to Better Business Decisions
By Steve Juetten
Business leaders in the fastest growing companies make decisions all the time. Especially in un-certain financial times, good decisions are essential to avoid wasting time, money and resources. The tendency is to have knee-jerk reactions to the latest media reports on the economy, housing starts and the stock market. If a business leader wants her/his business to grow and succeed, they need to make more good decisions. But how often do any of us think about the way we make decisions? Here are three decision-making secrets that a growing business in a volatile environment can start doing right now and improve their results. Read the rest…
October 24, 2008
When “Get Booked on Oprah” Expert Susan Harrow was in town, I wanted to make sure I introduced her to all the fabulous business owners I know who are worthy of both Susan’s and Oprah’s attention. I hosted a Great Gals Gathering at my home, and a great time was had by all. Here is a fun blog post one of my Great Gal Guests posted today — complete with photos — and tips to help you host a similar gathering of your own.
And if you love fun photos, check this one out from the Grande Sized Publici-Tea. There is something rather compelling about just the right visual aid. Doesn’t it make you want to know the back story? Or perhaps the lack of a back story?
October 24, 2008
It is amazing to me that the do-it-yourself publicity message I share on this blog carries far and wide to invite purchases from near and beyond. Yesterday I received an online order for the Authentic Visibility publicity tips booklets and an audio file about how to get known as an expert in your field from a professional from South Africa. The Internet gives us all an opportunity to invite opportunities to be of service. It’s a beautiful thing.
And, to make things even better, the Prosperi-Tea mugs I ordered to round out the new Publici-Tea-TO-GO! gift bundles arrived at my doorstep. Next week, I’ll be shipping out the many orders that have flowed to my online shopping cart from Kirkland, Bellevue, Sammamish, Colorado and beyond. I am proud to have created an affordable, high value gift bundle that helps business owners create buzz for their businesses during this very challenging economic period and returns 10% of net profits to NW Hope and Healing, a non profit that delivers healing baskets full of comfort and joy items for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. That is also a beautiful thing.
October 22, 2008
Media Savvy 101
If you missed the radio interviews “Get Booked on Oprah” Expert Susan Harrow and I did recently on the Chat with Women Radio Show and the Dr. Pat Show, let me make it easy for you to listen in after the fact. You’ll learn some useful tips to support your do-it-yourself publicity success journey just by listening in.
Here is the interview with Dr. Pat. Please click play button below.
I can tell you that my 11 year old son Kyle listened in to this interview, and he was very impressed. That makes me proud.
Here is the Chat with Women Show. Please click play button below.
Between the VIP and Grande Sized events, Susan and I had the wonderful opportunity to work with more than 60 guests to share useful information and insider secrets to empower their DIY publicity success. What a fabulous time was had by all. I’ll be sharing photos and other highlights in the coming days, so stay tuned for those.
The next Publici-Tea™ Workshop takes place November 14 from 12:30 – 5 p.m. at The Village Bellevue. I only have room for 13 guests because we are keeping this session intimate to allow for plenty of laser publicity coaching on the spot. You can learn more about my special guests Social Networking Guru Michelle Price and Practical Small Business Marketing Expert Stacy Karacostas, and register at www.publicitea.com. These events are my joy, and folks sure do get a lot of inspiration and ideas to tell their stories and build their businesses. If this sounds like what you need, treat yourself to the gift of Publici-Tea™.