March 20, 2009

Why you need both PR and publicity

Seth Godin recently wrote on his blog about the differences of PR (aka public relations) and publicity.

He makes a good point. As many PR firms out there only do publicity, but unfortunately that's what most businesses want.

That's why there's a lot of press release writers out there. You tell them the topic you want a press release on - and they write it to help you get publicity. And many do a great job - and many clients see amazing results.

However, when it comes to really focusing on bring in the business, strategy is needed in addition to the press releases. Sending out press releases without a strategy behind the effort is often a waste of time - and money.

Instead, you need a plan that uses press releases as a tool to promote your group coaching program. Here's how I develop a plan for my clients - and it's what you can use to develop your plan as well:

  1. Determine the real goal: Are you creating a brand (your image) as a coach? Promoting your group coaching program? The two are related, but really different things.
  2. Know your target market: Wendy Y Bailey, founder of Group Mastery, talks about this a lot with her Group Master candidates - and so do I. Why? If you don't know who your prefect prospect is, you'r basically shooting a target with a blindfold on.If you don't know who that person is, you can't choose the right public relations efforts to reach them.
  3. Develop interesting angles (or news hooks) that resonate with your perfect prospect: One great way to do this is to piggyback on current events and holidays. For example, as a group coach that women entrepreneurs helps attract more clients through publicity, I used Be Heard Day, as a launchpad to reach my target market.
  4. Find out what media your target market consumes: And this is more than just traditional media. Think social media and the Internet as well. Although it was great bragging rights, when I got one of my clients on Oprah, I reminded her that the target market of The Oprah Winfrey Show wasn't her perfect prospect, as they could not afford her wares. For the best return on investment (ROI), focus on the right media for YOUR audience.
  5. Disseminate your information in the best method for the media you have chosen: Remember, not all media outlets want email, or a press kit, or a phone call. It is YOUR job to find out exactly how media professionals want it.

And by the way, the last one is very important. You see, the key to public relations is in the last word. It's about "REALationships." Build real relationships (which means the give and take of every real connection you make) and you will see the best results in your public relations efforts, just as it is with building your group coaching program!

Shannon Cherry is the publicity/media expert for Group Mastery. Known as The Power Publicist, she helps coaches, entrepreneurs, consultants and solo professionals attract more clients and customers through the power of publicity.

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March 8, 2009

Seven Ways to Expand Your Visibility

It’s important to make your business visible, in your community and beyond. After all, when people are looking to buy products or services, they usually opt for the business they remember seeing or hearing about.

Use the following ideas to market your business, create visibility, and drive more customers to your doors.

1.) Launch an event – An event can be as small as a dinner party or as large as a banquet. Events create publicity and give the news a reason to mention your business.

2.) Business gifts – Business gifts are a constant reminder to people long after a campaign has ended or an event has been held. Give out useful items as small as pencils and pens, mouse pads or coffee mugs. This will allow your company’s name to be seen all the time – by the person who received the gift and others around them.

3.) Charities – Even if you do not hold or launch a charity event, it is enough to just be involved. Donate money or be involved in collecting donations. This will help increase visibility in your community as well as show the community that you care.

4.) Get online – Online is a great place to increase visibility. Community visibility is important, but being online can help build your consumer base beyond your hometown. Create a webpage that is very informative to your customers. Get your business name into every forum and blog that applies to your business. Create your own blog if you have the time. If you write articles about your service or product, post these on your website and allow other websites to use them. All these things will make it more viable for potential consumers to come across your business name through a web search.

5.) Newsletter – Send out an online newsletter to your customers. If you give customers something to talk about, they may relay the information you are giving them to friends. So, in a networking fashion, your name can be spread and become better known to the community.

6.) Local newspapers – What better place to receive visibility in your community than your local newspapers. You can get your company name into a newspaper buy writing an article, being mentioned in a story, or writing a letter to the editor.

7.) Give speeches – You’d be surprised how many other businesses, organizations and clubs need people of expertise to share information. This establishes your expertise and credibility while at the same time promotes your own business. Research clubs, groups, the local chamber of commerce and organizations often look for speakers with expertise in interesting and informative topics.

Shannon Cherry is the publicity/media expert for Group Mastery. Known as The Power Publicist, she helps coaches, entrepreneurs, consultants and solo professionals attract more clients and customers through the power of publicity.  Shannon is sharing her expertise in "Attract More Clients Using Free Publicity" - a 90 Minute Mastery Webinar on Tuesday, March 11th at 8 pm Eastern.  Enroll NOW

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February 4, 2009

Shannon Cherry: Publicity Power in Your Group Programs

You're good at what you do, and now you're going to help even more people by becoming a group coach with Group Mastery for Speakers, Trainers and Workshop Leaders.  Awesome!

Shannon Cherry, publicity & media expert

Shannon Cherry - Publicity/Media Expert

Yet, one of the things most coaches struggle with is how to attract more clients. You already know that advertising is expensive - and often doesn't work unless you invest thousands of dollars on repeat ads.

But that doesn't mean you have to struggle with your marketing. I'm Shannon Cherry, the Power Publicist, and I'm here to help you use the power of publicity and the media to get the word out.  More about me.

I'm a former TV reporter and anchor, as well as the founder of Be Heard Solutions, so I understand public relations and free publicity from both sides!

I've helped hundreds of coaches and consultants like you get on the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Parents, Entrepreneur Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens and in front of the camera on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and even The Oprah Winfrey Show.

As we work together, you'll learn:

  • why leveraging your expertise is vital in attracting media coverage (and more clients)
  • how to find the journalists who cover your niche - and what to say to them to get them to cover
  • the techniques to publicize your group coaching program for FREE
  • and much more.

Here's the first thing you need to know about getting publicity: it's not a one-time or one-shot deal. Studies show in order to build buzz effectively you need to spend at least 20% of your time marketing yourself. That's one full day a week - or about 2 hours a day in a five day work week.

So put it in as part of your schedule right now. Book it like any other client meeting. Make it THAT important. That way you'll know you've dedicated what you need to see your group coaching practice thrive.

So what do you need to accomplish your 20% a week goal? How can I help?

Remember, I'm here to provide you with the information you need to be a success at Group Mastery.

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