August 12, 2012
PR Success Stories
Just before leaving for the family vacation in Whistler BC, I attended the NSA Summer Bar-B-Que and connected with Sports Psychologist Mike Margolies. He is one of my ezine subscribers who volunteered to review a new product I’ll be debuting in a few days. We chatted about mindset and the Olympics. It occurred to me that his local newspaper would likely be very interested to know that he had been the coach who had guided a number of athletes to achieve their boldest goals. We talked about how to make the pitch and why the timing was NOW. Mike took action and earned “ink” within the pages of the Issaquah Press within ten days. This is proof positive that the advice about earning your own publicity really can deliver a desired result — if you just want it enough to take action — and refer to trusted tools and expert resources to get the job done.
What will YOU do to bring your message to more of the right people who need to receive it? Take action. Want it enough to frame your story so it is an “easy YES” for the media that matter for your message. And keep me posted on your successes as they unfold. Can’t wait to hear your good news.
April 21, 2012
PR Success Stories
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22. And I am proud of my husband Steve for addressing this occasion. He is a Certified Financial Planning professional who has created a series of useful blog posts and a special report on socially responsible investing.
He is piggybacking on an event with global interest and showcasing his expertise to add value to the conversation. It’s just brilliant, and you can do this, too. It is just a matter of anticipating events and offering commentary that packs a punch. You can do this for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation, Summer Vacation, or whatever calendar event coming up. Just find a "hook" to link the message you have to share with what is happening on the calendar or in the news, and you have a platform from which to make your impact.
And as for Steve’s special report on socially responsible investing, we can all save the Earth, one wise investment at a time. And that is a mission worth fighting for.
In the last few weeks, Steve’s message has been featured on the radio, in major media, and in workshops in perfect timing.
If you are interested in learning more about socially responsible investing, here are links to make that timely and convenient for you.
Radio Interview and YouTube Video!
Your Call to Action
Now, consider how you are going to prepare and share YOUR message so you can broadcast your brilliance and make the world a better place.
January 4, 2012
Be Heard, PR Success Stories
My husband Steve — to whom I’ve been married for almost 25 years — has been listening to my do-it-yourself publicity advice for quite a long time. And he’s been learning his lessons well. Today, he is quoted once again on Forbes.com in an article entitled, “The Easiest Way To Guarantee A 5% Return in 2012.”
The reporter connected with him on Monday and asked for Steve’s point of view by Tuesday. Because Steve was ready, responsive, and eager to add value to the story, he was quoted extensively about a topic that is timely, newsworthy, and relevant to a great many people around the nation. This is a prestigious online publication that a lot of his ideal clients read.
Are you ready to reply when an influential reporter calls YOU for your point of view? If not, be sure to opt-in to my 1-25-12 at 3 p.m. webinar. I’ll be sharing essential tips, steps to take, and examples of PR successes that contributed to revenue generation for speakers, consultants, and service professionals who made the wise choice to first be READY to respond when opportunity knocked. Join in this live conversation so you can have what these fine folks are having!
July 26, 2011
PR Success Stories
When Chuck Oxford and I met at a local networking breakfast, I was immediately taken by his personable style and gracious way of contributing to the conversation. It turns out he is the owner of Lakeside Collision Center of Bellevue. Within weeks of meeting him for the first time, he was named Eastside Small Business of the Year by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. I shared a few ideas to help him leverage his good news, and he took action on just about every suggestion.
- He noted his award win on his website.
- He revised his radio advertising message to showcase his award win.
- He finally got around to sitting for a professional head shot.
- He decided to share his story with both the local business journal and the community newspaper by preparing customized story pitches for each publication — with a little help from yours truly.
Last Friday, a wonderful story about his company debuted in the “Growing Your Business” section of the Puget Sound Business Journal. Today, he is being interviewed by a writer from The Bellevue Reporter. And, I got word last week that a pitch I made on Chuck’s behalf from a lead from Reporter Connection is slated to appear within the pages of Success magazine. This magazine enjoys national readership. The query asked for tips to build your brand in your own backyard, and winning an award is certainly a great way to get known for excellence.
Now, Chuck is sending out an email to his best customers and colleagues to share his good news. He is requesting a professional reprint from Scoop Reprint Source so he can showcase his fabulous press within every new client bid his team makes, and he is sharing his good news across the social networks to which he belongs.
Just a few weeks ago, Chuck Oxford was feeling like a well-kept secret. Now, he is carving out his own slice of the spotlight. Chuck tells me his phone has been ringing with calls of congratulations for his good press. No doubt, requests for collision repairs are forthcoming. As he states so graciously in his Puget Sound Business Journal article, “Our customers drive home our reputation.” And some good press adds some timely magic to the mix, as well.
February 4, 2011
PR Success Stories
Martha Stewart invites those who have turned their business dreams into reality to share their stories on the Dreamers-into-Doers category of her blog. Extreme Bio Makeover client Alison Vaughn, founder of Jackets for Jobs, submitted her story and earned recognition on this popular site. Here is the link to read more.
If you would like to put your hat in the ring, you can join the Dreamers-into-Doers community and submit your story online. Alison will tell you that it is a beautiful thing to be seen, heard, and celebrated in this way.
You can’t step into the light unless you come out of obscurity to tell your story. Why not start today?
August 23, 2010
PR Success Stories, product publicity
Oh the thrill of seeing news about a worthy product travel far and wide and in perfect timing. I love that.
This morning, news about the Dot Girl First Period Kit landed on CNBC.com and quite a few other news outlets, just in time to serve last-minute back-to-school shopping needs for young girls who may soon be experiencing their first periods unexpectedly at school.
Here’s the lead paragraph, which I had a lot of fun writing:
SEATTLE, Aug 23, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — With the news from Pediatrics about puberty coming as early as seven years of age for girls around the world, Kathy Pickus — co-founder Dot Girl Products (http://www.dotgirlproducts.com) — says parents and their daughters should take a lesson from the Boy Scouts when it comes to back-to-school shopping: Be prepared. Pickus recommends that parents stock backpacks with one additional item so girls are not caught with their pants down, not knowing what to do when they see red.
You can read the full release as it appears this morning on CNBC.com at this link.
This release “piggybacks” on major news that broke earlier this month about puberty coming early for young girls. It also “piggybacks” on the timeliness of the back-to-school shopping season that is now in full swing. Most importantly, it offers timely tips and information to guide parents and their daughters to navigate an important time in the lives of those young girls.
I can’t wait to learn what happens with respect to new website visits, inquiries and sales of the new product, and additional media pick up about this timely news.
If you have a young girl at home who is anticipating the first day of school, follow the tips Kathy Pickus recommends in this release and be prepared. And, if you are a mommy blogger or journalist who writes about parenting topics and prepares product reviews, Kathy is happy to chat with you and offer even more useful information to serve your readers.
April 2, 2010
PR Success Stories
Business anniversaries are important to the business owner, but they are only important to the media when you make your pitch relevant to the reader.
I’ve been shopping at Heartland Interiors for over 20 years. During a January 2010 visit to the store, the owners mentioned they were preparing to celebrate their 25th business anniversary. After extending congratulations, I asked some questions, just as any curious journalist or DIY publicist might.
How did your business get its start?
How have things evolved over time?
What have been the most powerful lessons you’ve learned over the years?
As Co-Owner Val Scalzo shared her answers, I knew right away that their anniversary story had value to offer for readers of the local media. I made my pitch by email to the editor of the Bothell/Kenmore Reporter, and — voila! — the story ran in the paper just this week.
(By the way, this result stemmed from Val Scalzo renting my PR brain for one hour. Since I had 20 years of personal experience as a client with her company, the story came together in record time.)
Now, I know that staff members of community papers are short on time, so I prepared a very thorough pitch to make their job of telling the story as easy as possible. To follow is the pitch I prepared so you can see how I made my approach and enlisted interest.
Dear Andy and Mary:
I’ve got a business story that is likely to have interest among the readers of both the Bothell/Kenmore AND the Redmond Reporter that is well times for Valentine’s Day. Here comes the pitch:
In today’s demanding and slowly recovering economic times, it has grown challenging for small businesses to survive and thrive a few years, yet alone reach a 25th anniversary. Heartland Interiors (www.heartlandinteriors.com), a Bothell-based furniture store that provides custom interior design services, is set to begin a year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary starting next month with a series of customer appreciation events, special sales and Girls Night Out celebrations. How this business built by two best friends who love what they do got its start and took root to grow into a million dollar company is what makes this business anniversary story timely and interesting right now. The practical, wise, and hard won lessons they have learned are especially relevant for those who are pondering starting businesses of their own.
Owners Diane Wainhouse, a third generation Bothell native , and Val Scalzo, a resident of Redmond, started their company on February 7, 1985 with high hopes and humble beginnings. They each deposited $75 into a local business checking account and started along their journey to create and manufacture a gift line from their homes that they sold to specialty gift shops in the area as well as Nordstrom stores. Soon outgrowing their homes, they moved into a small manufacturing space and then into their first retail store where they incorporated their own gift line with other merchandise from local artists and suppliers. From the very beginning, the store took on its own personality and offered the public a fresh, new look in home furnishings. Since then, Val and Diane have grown their company into Heartland Interiors — a retail boutique now located in cozy quarters at Country Village in Bothell. The store offers artwork, lighting, furniture and accessories, along with a very personalized interior design service that addresses choosing paint colors to furnishing an entire home. What once was a cottage industry has transformed into a destination shopping experience that has generated revenues in excess of $1 million for each of the last several years, thanks to a team of staff members that has fluctuated from 10-12 people to today’s staff of 3-4. That is no small accomplishment, given today’s daunting economic times.
Val says one of the best moves she and Diane made was aligning with John Heller’s Street of Dreams Tour of Homes in 1988. During this showcase event of model homes, Heartland Interiors earned a number of “Best of Show” awards for their work over a ten-year period, along with awareness, fans, and followers who now gladly travel from all points around the Puget Sound to Bothell to experience and enjoy the elegant French country chic and natural relaxed designs for which Heartland Interiors has become well known. Prominent business executives, sports personalities from the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners, and people who love to make their houses homes they are proud to share with others have come to rely upon Heartland Interiors to make their houses homes they love. Val says that participating in the Street of Dreams delivered extraordinary exposure and credibility to Heartland Interiors among a perfect audience of potential customers. Val and Diane remain incredibly grateful to John Heller and all the builders who have been part of the Street of Dreams for their part in creating the success and longevity that Heartland Interiors enjoys today.
Along their 25 year journey as successful women business owners, this duo has learned a lot of useful lessons that can inspire others with business ownership dreams. Here are some of those lessons, along with explanations from Val:
* Go ahead and dream big, but start small.
We started small and built our business one order at a time. Creative energy and financial worries don’t mix well. By never taking out a loan the business had to support itself -so if it worked, TERRIFIC!, but if not – it didn’t cost much more than a dream. I think this was a crucial part to the partnership working as well. Financial burdens may have changed the overall focus from creativity to survivability which would of changed the tone of everything.
*Good customer service is critical, and customer appreciation is key.
How you treat your customers really comes down to your core values as a person. In our partnership, our personal foundations were so similar because we were raised with the same values and believed in the same principles. Developing our policies and reputation grew from that foundation. Giving really good customer service is pretty basic; we do our best to make customers happy, even when it’s a stretch of patience and fairness to do so. But we feel there is another important component of good customer service. That is appreciation. We genuinely appreciate our customers and the fact that out of all the choices for shopping that they have available, they chose us. It’s gratitude plain and simple. It keeps you humble and willing to go the extra mile when you need to.
*Offer what you are excited about and you can sell it.
From the very beginning, we have always offered things that we are excited about. When we buy for the store we only order merchandise that we like ourselves. This helped us establish our own niche in the retail home furnishings industry in our area; and fortunately, there were a lot of people that liked what we liked so we developed a following over the years. Our motto has always been “buy what you love.” It’s what we believe in, whether we are buying for the store, or helping our customers buy for their homes.
In partnership with this would be to know the art of selling. Being creative is one thing, knowing how to sell your creativity is another. We believe “selling” is half knowledge and half enthusiasm. If you’re excited about something, know a little bit about it, and it’s priced fairly, you’re on your way. This is probably the one thing most overlooked when people want to get in to the interior design field. You not only need to be able to sell merchandise, but you must be able to sell yourself.
*Know your customers-study them so that you know what they are looking for.
*Be flexible – and have a sense of humor.
*Be consistent with your policies and principles.
*You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just get on the wagon.
*The economy may be challenging, but don’t let it change who you are.
*Hire those who love what you do.
Andy and Mary, don’t you agree that the story of Heartland Interiors’ growth, success, and longevity is one your readers will love to read more about? I will follow up with you by phone in a few days to check your interest, unless I hear from you first. Of course, I am happy to coordinate a convenient time for you to meet with Val and Diane at Heartland Interiors to interview them and take photos when you elect to proceed. Thank you for your consideration.
If you’ve got a business anniversary story to tell or any other story that is local, timely, newsworthy, relevant and INTERESTING, try telling your own story to your community paper and see what results you can bring about that will bring your message to a much wider audience. It’s well worth the effort.
March 29, 2010
PR Success Stories
Personal Safety Group Founder and President Larry Kaminer is a man on a mission to empower others to stay safe when gun shots are fired.
He and I worked together to craft a press release about a “Gun Shots Fired on Campus” training event he has planned for April 22 in Seattle for college-aged kids and their parents.
Larry said the TV interview came about as a result of him emailing the press release to a reporter he knew at KCPQ TV Fox. He sent it out on Friday and mentioned the press release was going out over the PRWeb on Monday. The station called and asked if they could have the interview before everyone else got the release. Getting first crack at a local story is always a compelling benefit.
Larry’s personal approach and the news release compelled the news team at KCPQ TV 13 to create a broadcast story, and you can see it here. You can also read about the details of the FREE training workshop at the PRWeb release you’ll find here.
Larry reports that the PRWeb system is easy to use and well worth the fee to get the word out. He said, “All sorts of other websites that I don’t recognize have picked up the release and posted it. I am really keen to use PRWeb again soon.”
How did all this happen? Well, Larry rented my PR brain for one hour to share the details of his event and have me write the press release for him. I advised him to post the release to PRWeb. I also suggested he post his event for $19.95 to Full Calendar — a very efficient event promotion service that is also quite affordable. And, it’s always a good idea to target your news to a specific media outlet that is a perfect target for your message.
Now, one of the local TV stations in his Seattle backyard is promoting his free public safety workshop. And, that broadcast clip will be a persuasive future marketing tool to help Larry advocate for his other training programs that keep people safe.
I won’t be the least bit surprised when the event fills to capacity as other local news outlets follow suit. What would be an even more compelling outcome will be when corporations learn more about the corporate training Larry’s company provides to help keep employees safe when they travel or navigate dark parking lots alone.
The company’s new 90-minute webinar entitled, “Gunman in the Building” debuts April 7, 2010 and is available for purchase and licensing agreements. To learn more and bring this life-saving content to your company, call Larry Kaminer at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.personalsafetygroup.com.
December 5, 2009
PR Success Stories, Publici-Tea™ Graduate Success Story
I love it when my clients get into action to earn media attention that delivers sales. Here is a compelling and very recent success story shared by Alice Cunningham, co-owner of Olympic Hot Tub Company.
“Now, I want to say that the blog idea of YOURS is still really cooking along and I love it. It has improved my writing and customers love it!! So, THANK YOU again for encouraging me to do it. On the PR front, you taught me well I ran an ad on KING-FM for saunas. This was the only station or medium I used. I ran the ad about a month. It was a very inexpensive radio buy. The results were amazing. People actually called, came in & bought! I’m not sure why exactly. Maybe the weather; maybe the product is hot; maybe they trusted my voice or knew of Olympic. At any rate, they bought. So, thinking of you, I volunteered to do a testimonial for KING about my experience with the station. I wrote it in 20 minutes & it took two takes to record. So far they’ve played it 57 times! And, we sold one today from the ad which is running at no charge. FREE! I highly recommend that anyone who has had success with an advertising medium ‘volunteer’ to do a testimonial. It works and makes you look good.”
Listen to Alice’s testimonial ad by clicking on the play button right here:
Thank you Alice for getting into action and setting a wondeful example to inspire other DIY publicists and marketers to follow your lead. You all can enjoy Alice’s blog at www.hottubbliss.com.
And, of course, if Santa is looking for a bit of inspiration to warm up the holiday, a hot tub or sauna could be just the ticket to make everyone in the family very happy. This photo at right is of the three cheerful Olympic delivery team members who happily shared a cup of tea at my home two years ago after successfully delivering my holiday hot tub. Ah, bliss. Ho, ho ho and go to Olympic Hot Tub Company. Why wait another minute?
August 2, 2009
PR Success Stories
The Bellevue Reporter — my community newspaper — shines a light on my business in this story link.
If you are wondering how I made this happen, check out the email story pitch I sent to Reporter Lindsay Larin to invite her interest. I followed up with a phone call, the interview was scheduled, and now the story is reaching all of my Bellevue neighbors in perfect timing to support their DIY publicity success.
As a resident of Bellevue and a regular reader of the Bellevue Reporter, I am connecting with you today to share a story that locals may find useful and of timely interest, especially since the economy is giving so many people a run for the money right now.
No matter what we are doing to make our ways in the world — running a business, working for others, freelancing, or contributing in some other important way — everyone needs a bio that makes them fun, memorable, and magnetic so more of the right opportunities can come their way. The fact is that most people struggle with the idea of self promotion. Many suffer from humility disease. Whether people intend to seek out free publicity or just connect with people in a winning way in person or online via the social networks, they need a great way to share their stories so the right people will listen.
The good news is that I have just created the “Bye-Bye Boring Bio Action eGuide” that helps people get this done with speed, ease, and impact. I would be honored if you would see fit to review this guide for the readers of the Bellevue Reporter and/or consider doing an interview that would address some of the most essential elements that any bio should include to attract more of the right opportunities to their door.
The recipe that works so well for getting this mission accomplished includes the following ingredients: stunning results, succinct stories, sassy sound bites, and social information to help ideal clients connect with you. You can watch a fun video of me broadcasting from the backyard deck of my Somerset home at www.byebyeboringbio.com as I speak about this new tool. I was fortunate to be featured in a July 2007 issue of the Bellevue Reporter in connection with the Authentic Visibility Publicity Toolkit I created to empower business owners to earn their own publicity without spending a fortune. A photographer from the Bellevue Reporter came to meet me in my Bellevue backyard to talk about the toolkit.
I have found a way to be of service to my own neighbors and beyond from the comforts of a home office, and the view from here inspires me to create even more ways to be of service. People are raving about how I help them.
Please let me know if you are game to review this new tool that debuted quietly last week and is selling briskly from the online shopping cart at my DIY Publicity Blog at www.mainstreetmediasavvy.com. I’ll be happy to send the PDF file your way and offer sassy sound bites to make for a compelling interview to delight and inform your readers. Thank you for your consideration. I will follow up with you by phone in a few days, unless I hear from you first! Thank you for your time and consideration.
Nancy Juetten, www.twitter.com/nancyjuetten
DIY Publicity Tip: If you ask for what you want, you often get what you ask for. I wanted a story in my community newspaper to bring attention to the ways I support my neighbors’ business success. I asked for what I wanted and made the information relevant to the readers. A story resulted.
What do YOU want to have happen for your business and how you contribute to the marketplace? Where is the best media placement to share that story? And are you ready to ask for what you want so you can achieve the awareness you are after?
When you are ready to get into action, study this story pitch and present your own story to the right reporter at your community newspaper in a way that will invite attention to your product, cause, service, or idea, while serving the readers. Great results await.
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