Find A Lifetime of Success in 2012 by understanding “Time” & “Why?”

Ready to understand why some people are far more successful than others?

Brace yourself! I am going to share my perspective on why 2011 was such a success for me and give you something to think about in 2012. Here’s the funny part, I made more money in 2011 than I have ever and that little fact actually has little to do with why I was so successful in 2011.

I have had some great mentors and it’s all due to listening! You see those that know me might think that I am more of a talker, but I do a lot of listening. The fact that I actually hear what I am listening too makes it all the more effective. A lesson that’s valuable for life and Social Media.

TIME

In the movie “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” the Character Gordon Geckko turns to a young man and tells him that “time is the most precious commodity that I know of” a statement of absolute truth! While Einstein argued that time could be something of perception, in the case of the “theory of relativity” scientists make assumptions and simulations that space-time and other aspects of physics and astronomy  do not change the current state of time, in relation to the phenomenon of life.

During my masters program, we studied a concept that fascinated me on its own, supply and demand. The wildcard here was that demand was driven by perception. The concept became even more exciting when later we talked about the monetary value of leisure! The economic evaluation for leisure comes when there is not enough value to make the individual work more, or in the tipping point where the individual is willing to work during a time period traditionally reserved for leisure.

Time is clearly something that holds financial value, and in the case of supply and demand, we have a market where supply is consistent. There is only so many hours in a day, so many days in a week, so many weeks in a month and so many months in a year and so many years that we live. However, what if life is not as long as we believe it to be? The supply may be shorter or  longer then perceived. Demand seems to be the one thing in America that we do not have in this equation.

Whatever you choose for your profession, do not let it dictate your life. Travel, Family, Exploration and the Art of Doing Nothing are just as important and I believe a healthy part of a successful life.

WHY?

I will tell you right now, if you work for or with someone who answers “Why?” with “because I said so” or “that’s how we do it” RUN!

That person is likely, lazy, selfish and/or just plain ignorant! Yes, ignorant! I have had these people just like everyone else and it made for a negative professional career experience in the fields of education, banking and sales. There is probably nothing more dangerous to the health of an organization, its culture, and our economy then these people. “Why?” is crucial to success!

Why is how we learn, grow and develop. It is crucial to success both for individuals and organizations. A supervisor, manager or superior has an fiduciary responsibility to both the organization and the client to teach their subordinate everything they know. I pride my work in student affairs with the notion that I had started teaching my staff from day one what I do and why so. In my absence, everything, for at least a while could run as consistently as if I was still there. If you don’t believe that you should prepare for your absence, then what will you do if you should be promoted? Do you not believe that your people are  more effective contributors to a culture where you have empowered them?

A small business owner should have the same relationship with their consultant and media professionals, if you do not invest the time to teach them about your business how will they be able to understand its culture? If you do not understand “Why?” the consultant or media professional is doing something then how will you know what to do in their absence or to communicate the evolution of the business. You may not be able to do what others due, either because of talent, skills or time, but you still better understand why they are doing it.  

Both “Time” and “Why?” are a crucial part of life, not just business or professional development. Adapt a plan that encompasses learning and educating the “Why?” to those around you, and you will find “Time” which will bring you prosperity in 2012.

It was a great 2011, I am looking forward to an even better 2012! Hope you’ll Join me!

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Professional Spotlight: Stephanie L. Schierholz (NASA)

Stephanie Schierholz is the Social Media Manager for NASA, buts that’s not all. This talented professional like many others also participates as a active member of other organizations. At the time of this article she is president-elect for Women in Aerospace, an inaugural member of the British Council’s Transatlantic Network 2020, and a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Stephanie earned her MBA at Georgetown University and also holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and English.

Stephanie’s most recent work is in a new frontier at the Space Agency, as the Social Media Manager. It was during the Social Media World Forum in New York City that dbmei staff learned how NASA had a thriving social media presence and how it had been built by the brave souls who volunteered their time to generate a new communication tool for NASA. Unlike many other agencies and organizations NASA cannot advertise, which until recently left the agency at the hands of reporters. Now social media provides NASA with the opportunity to communicate and reach out to millions of followers. In addition to the recent TweetUps, they had the opportunity to do some location based services checking in on Foursquare, from SPACE?

Stephanie is passionate about change and everything space, but what you might miss is the underlying message about how she does that, it’s through communication.

While most can get lost in causes and ideas, Stephanie has stayed true to the core value that it’s all about communication. Stephanie sees social media as a “tool” that has done wonderful things allowing people and organizations to communicate. This was relayed intensely when she talked about both her experiences at NASA and with the British Council’s Transatlantic Network 2020. Stephanie shows great interest in communications being the tool to understand one another, in fact when faced with the question “What advice would you have for young people who face struggles and failure?” Stephanie immediately went back to her core explaining that critical evaluation has to be done to understand the “why” and ask questions to both yourself and the people around you.

Stephanie’s advice seems to consistently be about communication and exploration, she urges young professionals to reach out to experts but not be afraid to try something new, and again understand the “why” if someone is critical or when you face failure. Stephanie also warns to be careful, if you do something make sure you enjoy doing it because once you become the expert, it’s only natural that you’ll be expected to do that from now on.

As the President Elect for Women in Aerospace, Stephanie is passionate about opening the doors and setting up support systems by both men and women to help generate more resources for women to seek out careers in “everything from aviation to space and all that in-between”.

Stephanie was raised in Colorado, and has done quite a bit of moving around, but says she is enjoying the east coast for now, and in talking to her you can’t help but wonder if this star eyed professional has something more grander in mind for her future.

Stephanie Schierholz seems to be paving her way to something great, based on the roles she is in now and her passion for exploring new ones, you cann’t help but expect we will be hearing a lot more about her as time goes on.

As of today, Stephanie Schierholz is a passionate and professional contributor to society, social media and a role model for communicators everywhere.

Video: Interview done via Skype has been edited for sections to share on the post and via YouTube, the video is edited from the 45 minute original video to 15 minutes and includes sections thought important by the author.

dbmei.com previous article on NASA from Stephanie L. Schierholz Presentation at Social Media World Forum North America:

#SMWF: NASA’s ‘Out-Of-This-World’ Social Media Engagement Success

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Stop Using Social Media Now…If you don’t have a plan

Your Social Media Plan: Why you need one and first steps

Over the years I have conducted workshops and sat on panels discussing social media and marketing.  From these interactions it has become clear that many businesses and individuals struggle with understanding and using social media to market effectively.  However, social media is an important marketing tool for every business and an element that needs to be incorporated into every marketing plan.  According to an August 2011 survey Marketing in the Digital World conducted by Zoomerang.com, nearly half of the small businesses surveyed are utilizing social media to market to customers.  This survey noted that the most effective tactics for businesses to reach customers through social media is with wall posts and direct messages.  The survey stated that the most important reasons small businesses use social media are to connect with customers, enhance visibility and self-promote.

Social media strategies need to be tied together with a comprehensive marketing plan.  Without a plan, social media marketing can be a colossal waste of time. However, with the right approach it can reap tremendous branding and marketing rewards.  A social media marketing plan outlines the proper use of time, effort and money.  Unfortunately most small business owners are not marketing professionals and do not approach social media with a marketing perspective.   

It is impossible to outline a complete plan in this blog, but I will discuss the first important steps needed to get started.  A successful plan does not have to be complex and it can be created and implemented quickly. 

To successfully harness the power of social media for marketing, users need to understand it, understand how their customers and contacts are using it and how they are going to use it.  I purposely did not mention sales because one of the greatest misconceptions is that social media is a sales tool.  Social media is a branding and marketing tool used to build relationships and brand awareness, which can lead to referrals and sales.  

The first step in the process of creating a plan is education.  Individuals and businesses must learn how their target audiences use social media and what sites they use.  It is essential to find out as much as possible about the behavior of clients and prospects.  Collecting and reviewing this information is an important part of the process.  For example, LinkedIn can be an ideal site for your business if you want to connect with other active business networkers.  According to a Lab42 survey of 500 Americans who were registered with LinkedIn, 35 percent check the site daily and 42 percent update their profiles regularly.  From this we can see that a large number of LinkedIn users are active on the site. These users are interested in keeping their profiles up-to-date for others to view.  Therefore LinkedIn’s business-focused online community is an ideal social media platform that should be included in a business’ social media marketing plan.

The research and information gathering phase will allow you to understand target audiences and choose the right social communities and sites to use. 

Ask questions such as:

  • Where do clients, potential clients or referral sources interact online?
  • Where are my clients and prospects gathering, posting and commenting? 
  • Who are the leaders in my sector and where can I find and listen to them online?
  • Where can I listen and participate in conversations online to grow my personal or business brand? 

With this information in hand, strategies can be implemented and goals can be set directing where, how often and what messages should be posted.

Based on the research and information gathered about current and potential followers and customers, set up or expand your social media accounts.  This may mean creating a Facebook business page and/or group, a LinkedIn company page or group, a YouTube channel or a Flickr account for photos.  Twitter, Google+, Stumbleupon, Tumblr and other accounts may be part of this initial effort as well.   Each site has its advantages, and each has strategies for its use.  Currently, Facebook remains dominant in many categories including time spent on any U.S. website according to the NM Incite – Neilson State of Social Media: The Social Media Report Q3 2011.  The numbers are truly staggering to look at.  Facebook visitors spent over 53.5 billion total minutes on their site in 2010 according to the Neilson, Netview, Home and Work (May 2011) study of the Top 10 Web Brands.

Successful plans set realistic goals.  Goals should include consideration of ROI (return on investment), but must also consider the amount of time and effort put forth, what I call ROE (return on effort).  Social media marketing ROI is difficult to measure in terms of direct sales, but can be achieved when time and budgets are set.  At the beginning of a social media marketing campaign or program it may be difficult to judge how much time should be spent.  Start slow and allocate a specific number of hours necessary to achieve desired results.  Only add time when warranted.  Social media is not a waste of time, but it can be a tremendous time-waster.  You limit your exposure and potential losses by managing time wisely.

The investment of time and resources is worth it.  According to information published by CrowdSpring, 51 percent of Facebook friends and 64 percent of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of.

This outlines the first steps in the process of creating and implementing a social media marketing plan.  Stay tuned for additional posts in which I will cover topics such as creating social media campaigns and marketing messages, personal branding, strategies for monitoring success, enhancing the power of media coverage with social media, online reputation management and protection, crisis management, business development strategies using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube and others. 

Don’t stop using social media – start using it now with a plan and goals.

Sources:

CrowdSpring
Lab42
Marketing in the Digital World
Neilson State of Social Media: The Social Media Report Q3 2011

 

Authors Note:

This is my first blog post for Digital Brand Marketing Education and I would like to thank Basil Puglisi for the opportunity to contribute.  Basil and I have had some thought-provoking discussions and it is great to be a part of a forum where ideas and strategies are openly exchanged.  My goal is to draw upon my 22 years of media relations and marketing experience to provide readers with valuable insights and strategies, and to have some fun along the way. One of the activities I enjoy most is sharing information and examples that help individuals and businesses grow their brands, market effectively and build their businesses. 

About the Author:

Bill Corbett, Jr., President, Corbett Public Relations, Inc. and Creator of Grow Your Personal Brand. Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm.  For more information go to corbettpr.com or email wjcorbett@corbettpr.com.

About Bill Corbett Jr.

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm. For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com. He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

#SMWF: NASA’s ‘Out-Of-This-World’ Social Media Engagement Success

NASA has quite an impressive social media plan in place that has already created quite a social buzz. There innovative and interactive ideas has gained them a solid reputation for achieving success with social engagement. At the Social Media World Forum in New York, I had a chance to hear Stephanie L. Schierholz, Social Media Manager talk about what NASA has been doing with Social Media, and specfically location based services recently.

NASA Partners with Gowalla

Gowella, a mobile and web service, partnered with NASA in 2010 to provide them with an interactive contest where users check in via Gowalla to help locate four NASA-related virtual items. Those items were a NASA patch, a spacesuit, space shuttle, and a moon rock. NASA displays moon rocks from past moon missions at expositions, planetariums, and museums throughout the world. Moon rocks were easily located when users checked in to any location where an actual moon rock was on display.

Gowlla in collaboration with JESS3 created a special edition of a visual map to help users locate the moon rocks and the other required treasure hunt items could be found by checking in through Gowalla at any one of the over 400 science centers, observatories, nature centers, aquariums, museums, and planetariums that are part of NASA’s large Museum Alliance. Gowalla users that collected at least three of the four required items received a special pin in their digital Gowalla passport.

Plus, the first one hundred people who collected three of the four items also received a hardcopy version of the map in the mail.

Tweets from Above and Beyond

During this impressive social media campaign, NASA also had Astronaut Douglas Wheelock, or @Astro_Wheels, check in from Space Station announcing. “Houston, I’ve just unlocked FourSquares’ NASA Explorers badge.”

Check out the NASA Explorers Badge at FourSquare.

Campaign Statistics

This NASA social media campaign turned up some pretty impressive stats for Gowalla and Twitter. Gowalla had never had a past completed by so many, so quickly. Over thirty-thousand of each of the four required items were located through check-ins, and followers were increased by 4,278 during this campaign.

Since this campaign began more than 10,000 people have unlocked the NASA Explorer badge, and over 130,000 people now follow NASA on Foursquare.

Aside from the statistics, NASA’s campaign on Twitter has had other benefits as well. Some of the photos posted by any given @Astro to Twitpic can be what Douglas Wheelock referred to as ‘life-changing’ such as this photo of the earth’s aurora from space.

Incredible!

You Don’t Have to Be an Astronaut to Learn from NASA

Check out what the social media manager for NASA has to say about their relationship with Twitter and how they engage with their followers, as well as how you can engage yours!

Some lessons that NASA social media staff has taken away from their campaigns may help you as well.

  1. Use Twitter yourself first. Know the format and how it works. Get familiar.
  2. Identify the specific business case for your use.
  3. Locate new resources for growth.
  4. Keep the account active.

“You may not have a spaceship, but your company has a fan base. They won’t think of themselves as fans until they’re in a room with like-minded people. They won’t think of themselves as members of a community until YOU bring them together.”

-David Rosen, @davidhrosen (group VP, Makovsky + Company)

 

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

“Privacy” is a great way to stay unemployed, unconnected and extinct [Opinion]

Social Media does not create a brand, it takes the brand (or character impression) and carries it. Just like in the “old” days when you worked in a community and everyone knew everything about you anyway, social media has played into the global business revolution.

“Privacy is for old People” but perhaps we misunderstood “old”? It was my interpretation, it was for people who try to “network” the “old” way. Keep sending out those paper resumes, no really keep doing it, in the mean time those that are out in the digital space that have embraced transparency are taking all the job leads and finding and creating careers.

“Think Digital, Act Social”, this is the best way to find a career and not a job. Your resume starts with one word, Google! This is what almost 90% of hires will go through before they get a job or enter into their career. The power of LinkedIn is not just in its ability to connect, it’s in the uniformity that the professional social tool provided.

A resume was traditionally put on a piece of paper that had a million different formats, was presented in infinitely different ways and contained a variety of info that could range from too little to too much. The paper resume then needed to be mailed, emailed, uploaded into a system that could scrape keywords, if you knew how and where to put them.

LinkedIn created a space that provided basic continuity in your digital resume, then provided you the flexibility to be different without losing the Education, Experience, and transparent influence.

If your concern is privacy, then good luck, your “old” way of thinking is what has you unemployed or in a dying industry.

Here lets show you a example of why this is so important and relevant.

  • Position: Writer
  • Duties: On a regular basis produce a variety of articles on subject “A” that people want to read to help increase site/paper/blog readership.

How will you apply? How will you be evaluated?

  • Traditional Applicant: Resume with impressive samples, clean resume, quality education, phone numbers for references.

vs.

  • Digital Applicant:  LinkedIn Account, this includes a good work history, quality education, samples of articles from the connected blog. The impression that you understand digital, with 500+ LinkedIn connections, a Twitter account with 3,000 followers a Klout score that shows that you influence people in a call to action style with your tweets/articles. A Facebook page that shows who you are as a person, Spouse? Parent? Sports Fan? Alumni? Hobbies? the things that provide comfort about the applicant being hired is of good and cohesive character to the organization. How about the power of say 12 “Recommendations” on LinkedIn from people who you can see are reputable, professional and also of good character.

If you’re going to spend money on mailing paper resumes or email spam, you might want to consider target marketing ads on Facebook or LinkedIn, as you’ll only pay for who you target when you know they have looked at you.

Why this matters?

Social Media transparency is better than the traditional background check, this gives you a look into what has been legally off limits and even though you may say it doesn’t belong as part of the hiring process, the data shows that it clearly is! Now consider the business model, the writer with the traditional resume path only tells they can do the work, the digital resume can show you that they can do the work and generate revenue!

How?

Writers generate content to create readers, the first shows they can create content that people might be interested in, the second using the digital resume shows that they CAN and DO produce followers and views for their content. If you’re an online media source, like a news paper gone digital, you NEED the second writer more. Advertising revenue is about “eyes” the more eyes you get on your content the more valuable the ad space is, the second writer shows that they can generate more “eyes” or views from the start.

Now the same can translate to PR positions, Sales, Business Development and any position where reaching people is important. Then imagine you’re a prospective employee that can show a following or influence over 50,000 people across the social networks that drives 10,000 clicks or views a month, you’re on your way to being your own business. Big brands got to their ivory towers on the shoulders of their employees being representatives in their communities, social media is an extension of that practice.

This is why it’s important to “Think Digital, Act Social”. Having transparency allows you to show value by using digital means to display who you are, the professional and the personal. Things like video, websites, social sites create a foundation that then allows you to act social by reaching out in both traditional networking and digital networking methods.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

How To Run Effective Media Events At Trade Shows

Are you spending a large amount of your marketing budget on exhibiting at industry specific trade shows?  Most companies today are still investing heavily in trade shows as part of their branding strategy.  This is a smart move as it’s important to be seen in the industry!  Executives should seize the opportunity and get in front of the media with their marketing messages.  Usually, the marketing staff focuses on increasing booth traffic and talking with end users.   This is all good, however your trade show strategy should includea media event to announce an important product release, event, or campaign.  Now is your chance to pitch stories and get your message out on the wire!  Don’t be shy…….It’s time to come out of hiding!

Smart companies should be sponsoring a media event at specific trade shows or conferences.  Start researching the editors/publishers of trade publications in your industry and start building a relationship.   The best way would be to compile a list of media contacts (some shows supply a list of media contacts on their website) and send an email introducing your company.  You may want to send a press kit prior to the show.   If you really want to make an impact….then it’s time to hold a media event at your next show.

Types of Media Events

The goal of a media event is to get the right people to attend and then go back to their desks and write about your company.  It’s all about wowing the media and making an impact!  Invitations should be sent out weeks before the show so you can have a total count of attendees. It’s also important to get on people’s calendars right away…as most media contacts book up quickly at the show.

During the show – If you plan on unveiling a new product at the show then you would hold you media event during the morning of the first day.  You should have plenty of copies of the press release announcement to distribute and a reputable spokesperson making the announcement ready for Q & A. This type of event can be held at the booth or in a conference room at the hotel.

After Hours Dinner/Happy Hour – If you want to hold a meet and greet type of event, then you would host a dinner or happy hour for the media. This type of event is more personal and typically runs from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at a restaurant or upscale bar.   The venue you choose should be convenient for the attendees.  To guarantee a good turnout, a smart marketer will select a restaurant in close proximity to the convention hall.

In addition, you should ensure that your company’s high level executives will be available to meet one-on-one with the media.  Also, you can pre-arrange the seating arrangements to ensure that top executives get the ear of the best publishers/editors.

Don’t forget the follow-up…..

It’s important to not forget about follow-up after the show!  All media event attendees should be contacted a week after the show with a “thank you” for attending our media event.  At this point, marketers can see if there are any questions and push for an article or story about the company.   Also, some publishers will require high res photos to go along with their stories.  This is your opportunity to make sure they have everything needed to write your company’s story. 

 Marketers need to be proactive about getting the media’s attention on a consistent basis.  You want to be strategic in holding media events.  To be effective, you should not hold a media event at every show. Save it for when you have news worth sharing!  Pick and choose wisely!  Remember the media is looking for new stories…not the same old story over and over again!  Keep it fresh!

Sources:

Exhibitor Online – Media Events

How to Hold a Media Event

Organizing a Successful Media Event

General Electric – Google Images (Photo)

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

Rethinking How You Measure PR Programs

We have all heard of the saying “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait”…well this applies to a  company’s PR efforts.   Most CEO’s want instant gratification and an immediate return on investment, which is not the case with most forms of marketing.   The perception out there is “I spent all this money on marketing and I want to see immediate results” Patience is a virtue…and measuring results of a marketing campaign takes time and dedication.   Similar to the time it takes to prepare a campaign for launch, measuring results can span from 3 – 12 months after the campaign drops.

The key is to come up with measurement reports that depict the right metric for that particular marketing campaign.  For example, what is the right measurement or key indicator for a Public Relations program?  Is it generating a qualified lead/ sale within 1 month or is it building mind share over time?  The answer is “building mind share within your target audience”…The next question you are probably asking is how do you track mind share?  Here is the answer:

What is mind share?

Informal measure of the amount of talk, mention, or reference an idea, firm, or product generates in public or media.  It is also the development of consumer awareness or popularity which marketers try to maximize.

How do you track mind share?

  1. Find out who is talking about  your product or company
  2. Find out when and how often your company is mentioned in an article, on a social media site, or on TV.
  3. Find out what they are saying about your product or company

There are a few ways to track the above which include customer surveys, email campaigns, and software programs that track all social media sites and blogs.  A full analysis of competitor brands should be included as well.  Also, utilizing PR Web to send out press releases gives you access to analytical reports on how many people clicked on your press release and read it.

All of this information should be tracked on a measurement report or marketing dashboard and reviewed with management on a monthly basis.  It can take up to 6 months or longer to feel the effects of a PR campaign.

Direct Marketing vs Public Relations

If you are looking for instant gratification, then the best marketing vehicle is direct marketing.  Direct marketing includes a direct mail or email campaign where there is a measurable response. The goal is to generate a qualified lead immediately by utilizing a compelling Call To Action (offer).  

The most important thing that a marketer can do is set realistic goals and objectives for each marketing campaign.  Don’t run a PR campaign and expect an increase in revenue within a month..you will set yourself up for disappointment.  Just like anything good in life…it’s worth the wait…so don’t be hasty in making decisions to cut all your PR efforts because down the road you will regret it!

A good marketer knows that it’s all about patience and planning…..so don’t sell yourself short! 

Sources:

Word IQ: MindShare

Business Dictionary: MindShare

MindShare: MindShare Over Chatter Buzz Tracking

Nicholas Pujol: The Mind Share Market: The Power of an Alternative Currency

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

PR Tips To Get You Published!

How to Pitch Stories Effectively To The Media

 In a “Narcissistic” oriented society, companies assume that they have newsworthy stories that the media is salivating to get their hands on.  When in fact, today’s editors and publishers are inundated with emails and story ideas from a multitude of companies on a daily basis.  What can companies do to get through the clutter and make an impact?  The first step is actually having a newsworthy story.  Don’t just assume that your story is interesting and unique.  It’s important to focus on what’s different about your story and how your company has solved a unique problem for a customer.    Why should a magazine editor be interested in your story?   What makes your company so great that others will be interested in reading about it.  Remember…all CEO’s think their company is the best…so how do the editors differentiate between the best of the bunch?

What makes for a great story? One way is to show how the company has made a positive change for society or a customer.  Community relations is a great way to get your company’s story published. Also, developing a new product to solve a problem for a customer makes for a great story.  Between print and on-line publications, we have access to information 24/7, which makes Public Relations a great tool for reaching your target audience effectively.  Another huge benefit is that you are not paying for media placement.  The media prints stories/articles free of charge.  Plus it gives your company credibility….which is extremely important in this economy.

It’s all in the pitch…….You have one chance to pitch your story…so don’t blow it!  Once you have a newsworthy story…the second step is pitching it correctly.    How do you want to portray your company to the press?  Do you want exclusivity with one magazine or do you want to get it out there to multiple publications?  Set your goals and objectives up front and you will be able to pitch the story to the right people.  Be prepared and make sure you have the right contacts from the various print and on-line publications.  There can be a high turnover rate for editors..so make sure you continually update your database with the correct contact information.  It would be a shame to miss an opportunity due to your story being sent to cyberspace. 

It’s time to write the press release……How do you write an effective press release?  The key is to focus on the important points in the first two paragraphs. Editors typically don’t have time to read a two page press release and only read the first two paragraphs to see if it’s newsworthy.  Grab their attention early on and you will get the call from the editor.

Do Not Send Attachments to Editors……If you want to make an editor agitated….just send a large attachment.  The right way to send a press release is to copy and paste it within the body of the email.  Inform the editor that upon their request you can send a product photo, etc.  Do not just send a picture attachment.  Due to all the viruses, an editor will typically not open an attachment and hit “Delete”.

Get Approvals…..Make sure you get written approvals from all parties included in your press release.  This is so important and sometimes overlooked. 

Directed vs Opportunistic Public Relations – There are two strategies that can be used to launch successful public relations programs.  One strategy is called Directed PR, which is when a company pitches a story idea to a particular magazine.  The other strategy is called opportunistic and involves researching the publications’ editorial calendars and editorial databases to see current story topics and articles. This helps to pitch a client for an existing “Hot” opportunity.

If you follow the PR guidelines above, you will have a better chance of getting your company in the spotlight.  Happy Pitching To All!!!

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

Is Google Plus (G+) the key in the transition to Web 3.0

A Google account has become the most powerful tool that any entrepreneur or small business owner could ever hope for. While Google’s general public brand has been tied to Search, Google has been building a monopoly that can and will change the shape of business, politics, and education forever. In fact, Google is Web 3.0!

Google has many, many tools and products in its offering, most of which are free! If you have not taken the time to look around I suggest you spend a few minutes and start to familiarize yourself with them, they will save or make you A LOT OF MONEY!!!

Google recently made a few updates, but the top bar has been around for longer than most realize, it is in this bar that Google is writing the book on Web 3.0.

What is it that makes Google such a force? Why is Google Plus or G+ such a big deal?

As seen above, Google has captured the “cloud” era ahead of schedule. Without even looking at the advanced features or Google Apps, one can create and store documents on their google account, set appointments organize and share a calendar, find new information and search for products, solutions, books, or even watch a movie or a how to video.

Social Media has changed the way that people interact and use the web, in fact web 2.0 was all about social media. Websites, software and plug-in updates that allowed people to interact with one another and turned a one directional internet into a multi directional web. In web 2.0 not only can you talk back to the media or information source, you could share it or pass it around. The individual web user could claim the brand of a company for better or worse. Dell had individuals that were not related or employed by the company providing customer support in the forums, and Milton’s Scrabble lost thousands, arguably millions in its brand because two other developers claimed the brand in Facebook.

Web 3.0 has been branded the “cloud” era where information, both public and personal is stored on the world wide web and accessed via data plans, Wifi or traditional cable and dial up. This includes massive files for things like high definition media, entire company databases, etc. This is really not something that is new, just look at how startups like Patch Media use google to simulate a traditional IT infostructure or Saleforce.com to organize track and distribute leads, sales and work. With only one main hub in NYC, Patch Media delivers people and content without traditional overhead in over 800 communities around the United States.

Google Plus bridges the gap between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0

In Google Hangout people interact in a real time public space. Others now have to rethink how they look, speak and the body language or facial features that they use. (The innovative marketers and advertisers will need to think how to get a coke can on the desk during that hangout, how to get a new movie poster on the wall behind that person on the hangout etc.)

Google Hangouts has a game changing advantage for those that know how to present, speak and are truly genuine in public. Users should be aware that this new social tool is a lot like “Larry King Live” and you better be prepared for questions that you may not want to answer.

Google Plus has an A symmetrical sharing system, which means that we can send to others but not get a share in return. G+ from its creation allows users to separate professional and personal lives and even organize beyond the largest separation issue that has plagues social users. This interface along with many other features makes Google Plus the most advanced social media site/tool/software that has ever been created, but all that pales in comparison to why Google is so powerful in web 3.0.

If you are in a space where you are using social in a way that allows you to network and share both your personal life and professional life, what could be better than the Google suite of products? You can share and update documents in real time, video conference, make appointments, develop leads, search out information, shop and buy products, services and so on…

A small business now has an IT Dept. in one place. They can seek out support, generate leads, share reports, organize their schedule, promote their business with video, learn from other videos, advertise in Search, not to mention capture the power of social or viral activity. The digital business can now provide face to face support in a familiar environment something that many still crave.

A teacher or tutor can instruct a class or group from half way around the world, share documents, collect home work in real time. A educator or small college can now reach millions and take online learning into a space that captures the best of brick and mortar with distance learning once only done through text based posts.

A politician can capture and organize moral entrepreneurs, organizations and supporters from an account that brands who they are, what they are doing and interact with them with little or no technical experience or knowledge.

The shift in the world economy has come from millions of individuals competing with large corporations and brands that once held a monopoly on professional marketing, networking and talent. Thanks to a Google account you can now work with the best talent, develop a impressive network and generate a brand that is professional, technologically competitive and organized.

 

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Google Plus: A short Intro to G+

Vic Gundotra of Google explained that, connection is a “basic human need”. The current online choices in social media did not have enough diversity inside each individual social tool.

Who should be worried about Google+:

  • GoToMeeting
  • Flikr
  • Skype
  • Facebook
  • Microsoft
  • EVERYONE!

Bradley Horowitz, VP Products helped build Google+ explained in an interview for Twit:

Google+ allows individuals to create social networks inside a single social tool to share as you want where you want, when you want. It allows you to not only share via a news feed, but puts you face to face with people via video chat or in “Google Hangouts”.

In the real world people interrupt conversations and the technology in Google Hangouts was developed to recognize that and move the camera, its designed to develop the natural communication we see in real life.

Another innovation in Google Plus is Spark. Spark uses google news and google search to integrated with content that you interested in, it will provide a personal filter for content that is fresh and new to generate conversation. It keeps the discovery and sharing within your circles.

Another Great feature of Google Plus is the instant upload feature for Android. It allows users to automatically upload pictures as you take them on your mobile phone, then when you use G+ its loaded and ready to share if you choose.

Huddles is the mobile version of the platform that allows you to interact in small groups, I hope they add video to this, it would make the mobile video a real userfriendly social option.

Changing Social Interaction on the Web:

In Google Hangout people have to interact in a real time public space, something that others will now have to rethinking. Success will now include how they look, speak and the body language or facial features that they use. Google Hangouts has a game changing advantage for those that do know how to present and speak in public and are truly genuine. Users should be aware that this new social tool is a lot like “Larry King Live” and you better be prepared for questions that you may not want to answer.

Stay Tuned for “What does Google+ Really Mean for Google?”

This is a great video look at Google+ and really starts to get to the culture of Google+ at 44 minutes.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

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