October 1, 2015

Tips for Building Better Relationships

Today, much of our interaction is done via texting, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, [insert your favorite social platform here], etc. Because of this, our ability to actually engage, connect and build authentic relationships with each other has suffered. We are all overwhelmed with requests for our attention, and people most appreciate (and notice) when you pay attention to them instead of asking them for something. Social media has created a “Look at me!” culture (ahem, the selfie movement) but cutting through the clutter and really engaging with your customers and partners will go a long way to building solid, long-term relationships and a tribe of
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September 24, 2015

Ways Food and Beverage Products can Leverage User-Generated Content

The vast majority of us go online to find and share information about restaurants and bars we like and frequent. From Pinterest to Facebook to Instagram, social networking platforms are filled with food-centered experiences including: Reviews of recently visited restaurants and bars Photos of food and drinks Unique dining experiences Recipes Creatively branded food and beverage products Uncommon ways of using food and beverage products Articles about food and drinks that individual consumers either love or hate According to a 2012 article published in the Huffington Post, nearly 60 percent of those who use Pinterest interact with site content that is related to food.  The same article states that,
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September 18, 2015

How to use HARO to get Media Exposure

We’ve all seen those cheesy movies where a woman trips right as a handsome gentleman walks by. He catches her before she hits the ground. She looks up, their eyes meet, and the music begins playing as they set off towards their happily ever after. There are some things are that are too good to be true or are reserved for those hokey films. Unfortunately, most of us throw the idea of getting a reporter to cover our story into one of those two categories and never give it another thought. But what if there was a way to not just
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Inward Fitness publicity campaign
September 3, 2015

Nine Ways to Get More Out of Your Press Coverage

You’ve gotten that big story in an important media outlet.  It’s a hard-won accomplishment that took a lot of energy.  So now your done, right?  Time to move on to the next project. Not so fast.  If all you do is get the story printed, you’re leaving a lot of opportunity on the table.  The next, and perhaps most important, step is to make the most of the coverage you’ve received.  Here are nine tips on how to get more out of your press coverage. Get extra copies:  This may sound fundamental, but be sure to get extra copies. Sometimes reporters
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August 21, 2015

How to Build Great Relationships With the Media: Five Simple Tips to Implement Today

Because business owners wear so many hats, they often feel that they don’t have the time necessary to devote to handling press and media relationships. Yet having a positive relationship with the media is critically important for all businesses. With proper development and nurturing, a good relationship with the media can eventually replace costly advertising campaigns, saving businesses both time and money. If you’re still wondering how to build great relationships with the media, consider the following five tips you can implement today: Get to know journalists. To effectively get in the game, you must first know the players. Familiarize yourself with the
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August 16, 2015

How to Manage Negative Customer Feedback: Four Tips to Help Your Business Rebound

No matter how effectively you run your business, chances are that you’ll eventually encounter negative customer feedback. When negative reviews happen publicly– on social media or review sites like Yelp– your first instinct might be to panic and launch into damage control mode. While it’s true that bad reviews have the potential to send your sales plummeting, they can also provide your business with a great opportunity to showcase your excellent customer service– and subsequently gain new customers. Read on to learn how to manage negative customer feedback: Respond in a timely manner. If a customer posts a negative review
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cause marketing
August 6, 2015

Should Cause Marketing be Part of Your Plan?

Do you know how cause marketing fits into your marketing and PR plans? A cause marketing campaign, as a form of joint venture, is an ongoing relationship that advances the nonprofit partner’s mission and the marketing goals of your business. Cause marketing partnerships aren’t just great for the community or charity, but can be a great PR opportunity for your business as well. However, you need to go beyond one-off events to make cause marketing work for you over the years. Simply sponsoring a charity event or running a one-time donation scheme is a good start but is not enough. There are three basic kinds of
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July 17, 2015

Want Expertise In What You Do? Eight Ways to Channel the Positive Energy That Fuels Creativity

Successful people know that in order to be successful they need to focus on what they’re good at doing. Writers need to focus on crafting amazing prose. Teachers need to focus on educating students. An owner of a local car wash needs to make sure every car that goes through her shop is spotlessly clean. What experts do is channel success to a wider audience so people can achieve results. Read on to find out how to be an expert who channels positive energy that fuels creativity. 1. Showing Up A good friend once told me that the most important part
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July 9, 2015

Standing Out Among the Competition

  How to showcase what makes your business different First thing’s first: customers want to know why they should do business with you. What’s special about your company? More specifically, why should they choose you over the competition? Unless you have a unique feature that’s specific to your company, you must consider showcasing the added value clients can expect when working with you. Perhaps your company has one major stand out feature, or maybe there are several smaller features that help your business rise above the competition. Once you determine your company’s unique selling proposition (USP), you can focus on showcasing what
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July 2, 2015

Four Tips for Engaging Customers on Social Media

By now, most businesses understand the importance of having a social media presence. Less clear, however, is exactly how to engage customers through social media. After all, having several social media accounts is largely ineffective if they’re not used to generate and nurture leads. To learn how to reach potential customers online, consider the following tips for engaging on social media. 1. Transparency matters. Customer loyalty is born when customers feel emotionally connected to your brand. Without transparency, it’s difficult for customers to form that attachment. Social media allows your business to avoid being a faceless, emotionless entity. Introduce your
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June 26, 2015

Five Inexpensive Tips to Help Promote Your Company

Often, small businesses feel like they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to marketing. After all, they simply don’t have the resources available for widespread marketing campaigns the way larger companies do. Still, in order to succeed, small businesses must get the word out about who they are and what they do. Luckily, there are some tried and true marketing techniques that are effective–and inexpensive– for small businesses. 1. Give your product away. Let’s face it: everyone loves free samples. What better way to get the word out about your product than by allowing the public to sample it for
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June 4, 2015

Six Tips to Help you Nail Your Next Media Interview

An interview with the media is a great way to gain visibility for your business while promoting your message. At first glance, a media interview might seem fairly straightforward– they ask questions, you provide answers– but appearing knowledgeable, confident, and engaging is often a challenge for novice interviewees. Below are some tips to help you nail your next media interview. 1. Do some research. Learn everything you can about the publication ahead of time. Read other articles written by the same author. Avoid going into the interview blindly; be sure to clarify the topic and focus of the article. Consider asking for
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Optimize your Blog for SEO
May 28, 2015

How to Optimize a Blog Post

Each month, we feature a guest blog post with success stories and other great information and advice we think thriving local businesses would care about. This month’s post comes from Natalie Henley of Volume Nine who gives extremely helpful information about optimizing blog posts.  When Michelle asked me to tackle this topic for her readers, I was really struck by how much the PR & SEO world have collided in the past few years. I started my career in PR & hopped the fence over to SEO and digital marketing about 6 years ago. At that time, PR was barely digital and
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May 21, 2015

Creative Marketing Ideas for Local Businesses

If your business is a fish shack located on the coast, hiring a sea plane to drag a banner back and forth over the most popular beaches can prove very effective for increasing traffic. The majority of establishments, however, need more practical marketing for their local business. Gone are the days when a large yellow pages entry, newspaper ad or direct mail coupon are enough to sustain a business. Small business owners have to get creative when building their brand and cultivating a following in their neighborhood. These are some ideas for marketing locally. 1. Schools and PTA Sponsorships Area schools are always looking for community partners to help
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May 14, 2015

Three Promotions Mistakes to Avoid

Regardless of whether you are just starting out as a small-business owner, trying to ready your department for entry into a new market, or preparing to do battle in the freelance arena, there are three mistakes to avoid when it comes to promoting your brand. 1. Push:  We are all aware of the push-versus-pull argument when it comes to manufacturing.  The same applies to your promotional material. Flyers, unwanted ads, and circulars are growing more archaic by the day and finding their way into the recycle bin before consumers even take a second look.  Not only will your marketing budget
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April 28, 2015

Three Simple Steps to Measuring Marketing Effectiveness

Since marketing is a large part of what brings business to your company, having the right marketing campaign is crucial. But, how do you know that your marketing strategy is effective? Here are a few simple ways to measure your marketing effectiveness. 1. Chatter One way to know if your marketing campaign is effective or not is to listen to the chatter. Listen to see what people are saying on social media. If you get any noise at all, that means people are listening, which is good. If no one is talking about it, then you need to come up with
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April 17, 2015

Three Tips to Pull off a Killer Grand Opening

New businesses and products pop up every day all over the world. The challenge of attracting customers to to your business hasn’t changed in the age of the Internet, but it does present some challenges and advantages in getting the word out. Here are three tips for maximizing your chances for success at your grand opening. 1. Advertise the Benefits of Your Business To The Community First, get yourself and your business in front of news outlets, describing what your business brings to the area. Having done your market research, you can explain in a press release, letter, or interview how your new business may
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April 9, 2015

Four Tips to Help Your Business Gain a Competitive Edge

For many small business owners, keeping tabs on the competition is a task that gets pushed to the back burner. After all, there are more pressing matters that owners must take care of on a daily basis. Researching your competitors, however, is a strategic business move that allows owners to gain competitive intelligence. Remember: your competitors are hungry for your customers, so keeping yourself informed is not only smart– it’s necessary for growing your business. Below are four easy steps to consider when researching your competitors. Surf the web. Of course, the no-brainer place to start your research is at your competitor’s
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March 12, 2015

4 Tips on How to Become an Expert

Establishing yourself as an expert is not something that can be done overnight, but with a little strategic effort, it can be done. There are several ways to position yourself as an expert in your line of work. The following four tips will get you off to a great start. 1.  Publish Articles Research various online and print magazines that are related to your field of work and submit articles for publication. Not only will you gain exposure, but you will be positioned as a credible source in your field. Don’t be afraid to write articles for as many media outlets
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March 5, 2015

3 Tips for Building Strategic Online Partnerships

It is important when running your business that you realize that you’re not in it alone. There are many ways that you can strategically partner with other businesses that will help increase visibility and revenue for both companies. Keeping in mind that there are many ways to form alliances, here are three tips for building strategic partnerships online. Complimentary Products or Services Reach out to companies with which you have a complimentary product or service. This should go without saying, but it pays to sit down and come up with a strong plan for both your company and the company you
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cause marketing
February 19, 2015

The Many Benefits of Cause Marketing

How much sense does it make to spend your marketing money on an issue that doesn’t impact your bottom line? As it turns out, a whole lot of sense. Cause marketing, defined by the Business Dictionary as, Joint funding and promotional strategy in which a firm’s sales are linked (and a percentage of the sales revenue is donated) to a charity or other public cause, is a very beneficial strategy that can ultimately be the difference between success and failure. In fact, it carries a variety of benefits: 1.  Image Boost The most obvious benefit of contributing to a charitable cause as part of your marketing efforts is the image
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Valentine's Day marketing
February 8, 2015

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day: How to Show Your Customers/Partners/Vendors Love

As Cupid’s big day rapidly approaches, you might be wondering how to show your customers your love and appreciation for their business. While Valentine’s Day is typically associated with couples and romance, it’s also an ideal time to find creative ways to reach out to your customers. The key, however, is doing more than adorning your showroom with paper hearts; it’s finding thoughtful ways to reach your client base. Here are some unique ways that your business can celebrate Valentine’s Day: Host a themed sale day. Encourage customers to get in the Valentine’s Day spirit! Invite them to wear pink or red to your business on
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Ways to get your business in the news
January 26, 2015

Top 5 Tips to Get Your Business in the News

There’s hardly a better way to raise awareness and expand business than getting your work featured in news media. As you’re making waves in your field, it only makes sense to want to share what you’ve accomplished with the world. So how do you go about garnering press attention? Check out our top five tips for getting your business in the news. 1.  Build and Maintain Networks As you already know, networking is one of the most powerful tools you can use to bring notice to the products or services you offer. With most businesses now active on social media
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January 21, 2015

Six Social Media Trends to Watch for in 2015

By guest blogger Molly Dugan of Social Road Map In 2014, we saw Facebook lose a third of its U.S. teen users then bounce back to add more than 100 million monthly active users in the last year. We witnessed image platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat, take the lead in popularity and we saw social media advertising skyrocket on various platforms. This goes to show you how difficult it can be to predict the future of social media. With that in mind, here’s a look at the trends to be on the lookout for in 2015: 1. Growth in Niche
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Denver PR expert
January 15, 2015

Two Methods to Establish Your Expertise

As a business, you know that customers are after one thing above all else–value. That value can take the form of convenience, low pricing, and/or high quality. However, to compete in the market, businesses have to know their field well. You have probably already thought about how to establish your expertise in your own field, how to let your customers know that your business is credible. If you are unsure of where to start, take a look at two main methods to demonstrate a high level of expertise to potential customers. 1. Share Information Sharing information freely shows people that a company
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December 22, 2014

Top Reasons to Work With a Marketing and PR Agency

As a business owner, you are busy! Running from meeting to meeting, managing employees, composing budgets and planning, ensuring your product is getting out the door or your service quality is top-notch, the list goes on…and while you are probably thinking that you need to market and promote your business, the last thing you have time for is actually sitting down to do so. That’s where an outside agency comes in. Hiring a marketing or PR agency vs. an internal employee has many benefits including that you’ll get a wide-range of expertise, you won’t need to worry about managing them
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December 18, 2014

Measurement Matters: The Importance of Tracking and Reporting in Marketing + Public Relations [INFOGRAPHIC]

Public relations professionals used to measure communication success via advertising value equivalents (AVEs). AVE is what your editorial coverage would cost if it were advertising space (or time). However, when tackling internal communications, marketing collateral, social media, and other efforts outside of media outreach, different metrics are needed. Today, it is not enough to simply crank out a newsletter or stay on top of social media posts. Businesses need to understand WHY they’re using different communications platforms and clearly identify what they want to achieve from their efforts (more leads from the website, increased credibility in their field, etc.) Having
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November 17, 2014

How to Build and Support Power Partners [INFOGRAPHIC]

Power Partners:  A network of business professionals dedicated to working together to help each other grow and succeed. Building a network of power partners doesn’t need to be difficult.  In fact, it’s quite fun! Learn how to build and support your power partners by doing the following: Identify: Identify where your potential power partners are hanging out outside of work. Maybe they are attending an industry event or a local chamber of commerce gathering. Think about where you like to go to grow your business and you’ll likely find others that want to grow with you too. Connect: After you’ve identified where your
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content marketing commandments
October 28, 2014

Ten Commandments of Content Marketing

Although you don’t have to etch this into stone, you should definitely take notes and make sure you are following these guiding principles for content marketing. There are plenty of professionals that “get it,” but for businesses new to the game of creating editorial strategies as a way to connect with their customers, these 10 commandments will set the stage to ensure that you create meaningful content that gets noticed and produces measurable results. 1. Thou shalt know thy goals. Before embarking on creating content, it is essential to understand what your business goals are and how content marketing is
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October 22, 2014

Methods Behind Public Relations Madness

As PR pros, we immediately set out to implement certain strategies to help our clients gain visibility and increase their voice within their respective industries; however, we also find that many individuals outside of the PR world are not familiar with the strategies we execute or understand their importance. What is a press release and why do I need one – and what’s the difference between that and a media alert? Why is my PR team so concerned about creating a targeted media list? What’s the significance of having an executive bio? What’s the point of developing a social media
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