Sunday, April 25, 2010

Should You Be Famous? How Editorial Calendars Can Help

“It is just the little touches after the average man would quit that make the master’s fame.”
--Orison Swett Marden

Those of you who would welcome media coverage of your company but are not sure how to get started, let me give you a great tip: editorial calendars.

What's an editorial calendar? Simply a written plan of topics a media outlet will be covering in a given year. Many of the publications you read most often have editorial calendars they work from, as it gives them a structure to plan their content.

What can this mean for you? Well, if you can get your hands on a media outlet's editorial calendar, you can scan it to see where a story that mentions your company would best fit. So if you manufacture silk, you'd be a good candidate for planned coverage under manufacturing companies, home d├ęcor or maybe a fashion feature.

The media is generally more receptive to story ideas that fill their needs. If you can call and say, "I've got an idea for your June issue on fashion about special silks being manufactured here in Pittsburgh, Kansas," you will stand a better chance of capturing their interest than if you called and said “Hi I run a silk manufacturing firm here in town and think you should do a feature story on my company.” Remember the old adage, WIIFM, or “what’s in it for me?” Editorial calendars give you a shortcut to exactly what a media outlet is looking for, so that you can help provide it.

Many publications post their editorial calendars online. If you don't see it there, call and ask if they can email or mail it to you. Look for places where an upcoming topic matches your product or service and make your pitch.

Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at www.bluetreemedia.com/ezine.html

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.
©2010 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Conditions Aren’t Perfect. Market Anyway.

“In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.”
--Miyamoto Musashi

You can hear it every time you turn on the television. You can feel it emanating from those you work with. Perhaps it even keeps you up at night: fear. Fear of our uncertain economy, of loss, of what the future holds. Because we’re going through a state of flux right now, many people have adopted a siege mentality, hunkered down in a metaphorical bunker, waiting for the challenging times to pass by.

While that approach seems safe, it really isn’t and here’s why: the siege mentality is ruled by fear, which leads to indecision, which leads to inaction. Inaction is the kiss of death for any company’s growth and success.

Now is the time to invest strategically in those things that offer the greatest potential return for your business, your skills and your life. Eventually the economy will pick up and when it does, the ones who have been continuing to turn the flywheel of marketing will be in the best position to ride the wave.

The truth is, conditions are never completely perfect. I used to think I had to have a complete strategic plan before undertaking even small marketing initiatives for my business, and while strategic planning is important, so is action. Now I understand the importance of taking consistent action during good and bad times.

• TIP: Notice what causes your fear to increase and then take steps to decrease or eliminate those things. Consider new habits, like turning off toxic, sensationalistic television news shows and getting your news from the Internet or avoiding friends who share “doom and gloom” stories and spending more time with optimistic people. Brainstorm small, inexpensive marketing tasks that can keep your flywheel turning.

©2010 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.

Barbara Wayman, APR, helps companies identify and deliver their messages to the right people. She is president of BlueTree Media, LLC, based in Dublin, Ohio. To learn more about these concepts, contact us at (614) 766-6878 or Barbara@bluetreemedia.com.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Twitter Followers

PR expert Barbara Wayman shares her top tips to help get you more Twitter followers.

Your Thank You Chain

“Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.”
--Gertrude Stein

It isn’t often I come across a completely novel and unique business tip that’s both powerful and simple. It happened recently when I was reading Million Dollar Networking by Andrea Nirenberg. Andrea is a master networker who came up with the thank you chain. It sounds like a fun piece of jewelry, but it represents all the people who play a role in making success possible.

Think about it – sometimes you meet someone at a networking or professional event and they become a client, vendor or whatever it is you’re looking for. But perhaps more often that person introduces you to another who may connect you to yet another before you find what you need. Each of these individuals would then become links in your chain.

Wouldn’t you be delighted to receive a handwritten note in the mail letting you know that two people you introduced at a party are now happily working together and that you’re the one who made it possible? It would make you feel great, right? Add power to your referral network by finding out how new clients heard of you and be sure to acknowledge each one. Success usually involves at least a small group, if not a crowd.

• TIP: When you win new business or solve a major problem, don’t just thank the most obvious contributor. Look closely for others who may have played a role and be sure to thank each link in the chain.

Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at www.bluetreemedia.com/ezine.html

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.
©2010 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Networking Power Tips

Why Be On Facebook For Business?

“I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.”
--Richard Feynman

It’s the biggest social media network in the world and the second biggest website on the Internet. Over 200 million people are using Facebook regularly, which naturally leads business people to wonder if developing a presence there makes sense. The answer is probably yes.

When it comes to the online world, having a website used to be enough. You could post content to your website and drive people there and consider that a successful program. Today things have changed. You still need visitors to your website, but as more and more people spend big chunks of their online time on social media sites like Facebook, you really need to have visibility there as well. The reason is that there are only 24 hours in a day. If people are spending 30% of their online time on social networking sites, they may no longer have the time or inclination to visit your website.

I think of it as the Old West, back in the days when the first saloons were being built. You could stay on your homestead and be afraid to go down and sit in the saloon, but if you did that, you’d miss out on all the conversation and relationships you could taking place there. It’s no different with Facebook. People are becoming fans of their favorite companies and products on Facebook. They are posting comments and photos of their experiences with brands.

You need to have your content on your own website but you also must take it to the places people are gathering. If you don’t, you won’t be part of conversations that are taking place about your industry, company, product and service. Simply put, chances are your prospects and customers are on Facebook. That’s why you should be too.

Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at www.bluetreemedia.com/ezine.html

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.
©2010 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.