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5 Reasons Why You Should Care More About PR & Marketing

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two -- and only two -- basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” – Peter Drucker

For far too many companies today, the main focus is on engineering and product development. This laser focus bodes well for creating breakthrough innovations. And while these products may indeed change the world as we know it, without marketing and PR, no one will ever know about them. This gives companies with better PR and marketing, but not necessarily better products, a competitive edge.

If you’re not convinced, here are 5 reasons why you should care more about PR and marketing:

1. Stand Out or Fade Out

First up is the debilitating syndrome called “failure to communicate.” Many companies hunker down and release seriously powerful products that surpass their competitors — something that would really make them stand out – but blow it because they do not communicate their message in clear, concise and compelling fashion. They simply bleed to death through their failure to market themselves and their products. Many companies sell razors, but Dollar Shave Club stands out in a crowded market with a clear, concise and compelling message—“An Amazing Shave for a Few Bucks.” Stand out, don’t fade out.

2. Establish Your Industry Leadership or Someone Else Will

Have you ever seen a keynote speaker and wonder what they have that you don’t? You have more experience or have made bigger strides in your industry, so why weren’t you invited on stage? Chances are these speakers are seen as industry/thought leaders. When computers were just giant machines in building basements, consider Bill Gates’ and his vision to “have a computer in every home.” Elon Musk’s promise that “we will not stop until every car is electric” pivoted the world in profound ways. Both had established thought leadership in their industries. A good thought leadership program—with speaking opportunities, contributed articles, guest posts etc.—can go a long way to getting you that keynote role, and to paving the way for your company and products to dominate your industry.

3. Earn Credibility, or Risk Skepticism

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Are Press Releases Still Relevant Today?

The press release is dead. Long live the press release!

The debate as to whether the press release is a relic of the past (the first one was sent over 100 years ago), or still a relevant tool today has been raging for the past few years. No one reads them, they don’t get “picked up,” and SEO value is limited these days, say the press release naysayers. But we’re here to tell you, don’t rule them out entirely. And while at times another tactic will work better, they do fulfill some very useful PR purposes.

Here are 6 reasons to keep press releases in your PR toolbox:

1. Releases are Trustworthy

The release is a go-to source for reliable information -- it's information direct from the horse's mouth, so to speak. And when well-written, it provides consistent, factual messaging for the company to get out to its audience.

2. Attracts Visual Interest

The press release of yesterday was a block of text with little to catch the eye. But not anymore. Now a release can provide excellent content, and also be a host for images, videos, and other multimedia to add value to your news. Editors love an attention-grabbing picture. 

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5 Keys to Getting Your Thought Leadership Article Published

Are you aspiring to be a thought leader? Being a thought leader may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Thought leadership can take many forms, but the most powerful tool in your arsenal is the contributed article. Such an article provides insights and positions you as an expert, without a hint of self-promotion. If you do it well, the benefits are aplenty, including having people seek you out as your industry’s "guru” and knowledge purveyor.

So, let’s get you published! To see your name, story and picture featured in your coveted industry magazine or even business and technology outlets like Entrepreneur and ReadWrite, here are 5 tips to getting your thought leadership articles accepted.

1. Offer Your Unique Point of View

Your point of view is not about your product. It’s your unique, even provocative perspective, informed by your experiences past and present, that are relevant enough to be part of your industry’s conversations and meaningful to your audience. Shawn Guan, CEO of Umbo Computer Vision, watched the artificial intelligence (AI) market evolve over the years and formed a unique insight on how AI will revolutionize video security. His “The Next Evolution” opinion caught the attention of Security Today which published the piece for their audience of security professionals.

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5 Reasons Journalists aren’t Giving Your Startup the Time of Day

Gaining media traction as a startup can be difficult. You approach a reporter at a trade show, but he gives you a blank stare and mutters, “Who are you again?” You write email after email, but they seemed to have fallen into an abyss of no return. This anonymity can be especially frightening against the fact that 90%of startups don’t make it. How can people buy your product or service if they don’t know you exist?!

If journalists are ignoring you now, here are 5 reasons why this might be happening.

 

1. Your Pitch Needs Work

Not getting any responses? It’s time to tweak your pitch. It may not have enough information, or too much. Or it may not be punchy enough. Even trying a new subject line could help stoke media interest. An email with the subject “Interview Offer: ‘Ending Cyber Attacks’” is much more intriguing than “Unknown Company X Requests Meeting.”

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7 Steps to Becoming a Thought Leader

Would you like to become a thought leader and reap the benefits that come with it? Thought leaders—like Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos—are people who have visions and strong degrees of expertise in subjects, topics, or issues. But more than that, they have publicly and relentlessly demonstrated their bona fides by taking a stance, having a perspective, and voicing their views and opinions. They’re leaders others want to meet, learn from and emulate.

Thought leadership takes time and effort, but the benefits are worth it. From building credibility with investors and customers, to shortening your sales cycle, to creating a legacy for the future, your efforts will not only help elevate your industry but catapult you to a new level of success and renown. Here are 7 steps to get started:

 

1. Be a Journalistic Resource

Getting quoted in news articles and publications is a great way to establish yourself as an expert or leader in a field. To be quoted, position yourself as a valuable source and make yourself known to reporters. Put yourself out there and be visible – engage in conversations with journalists, share your great ideas and insights. Help reporters choose you.

 

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Going to CES? 5 Tips to Grab the Media Spotlight

Tradeshows are like marathons. They aren't for the faint of heart. The biggest ones, like CES, run for six days and are packed with early mornings, late dinners, bustling business exchanges, and constant industry buzz. Tradeshows are also popular, albeit noisy, forums for promoting your company, your successes, and your messages. But how can you make sure that your company is not swallowed up by the sea of vendors vying for mindshare and media attention?

Here are 5 ways to grab the CES media spotlight:

1. Be Prepared

While CES 2019 is almost upon us, there’s still time to uncover media opportunities -- from inclusion in tradeshow dailies to exclusive invitations to media events. Do your research on the myriad media and award opportunities for the show. Get your releases ready now so they can be pitched in advance. And now is the time to enlist the expertise of PR pros to refresh your message, update your media kits, and get your executives interview-ready.

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The 8 Must-Haves of a Great Media Pitch

Great media coverage starts with a great email pitch. It introduces and excites the journalist to various facets of your company -- be it your products, your founders, your unique proposition for a changing industry, your customer successes and/or your insights or predictions about the future. A pitch needs to be short and sweet, informative but not overwhelming, but what does it actually look like? For our post today, we've whipped up an imaginary pitch to aid our discussion, and broken it down into the 8 must-haves of a great media pitch:

1. Make Them Feel Special

When it comes to pitching, personalization comes in two parts. First, while it may save time to list all your contacts in bcc and send one email, journalists find mass email blasts to be impersonal and often delete such emails without even looking at them. Avoid the bcc line and you'll avoid the spam folder. Second, make sure you use the name of the contact you are trying to reach. A vague "To whom it may concern" or (heaven forbid) the wrong name tells a contact that you haven't put in the time or effort to get to know who you're emailing. Let them know that you care by taking the time to personalize your email.

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5 Signs that PR is Meant for You

A wise old woman once said, "There is more to life then meets the eye, including the success of your business. If fame and fortune are what you seek, then perhaps it would be wise to look to the lunar calendar."

Before you consult your friendly neighborhood fengshui master, the answers to a prosperous year may be found in the Chinese zodiac animals of public relations.

Here are five signs that PR is meant for you:

1. When You're Out & About, But Nobody Knows You

Industry trade shows are high-powered affairs where major players are conveniently located under one roof. So you mingle with a mission. But without any buzz about your company, you will most likely be dismissed with the networking kiss of death. "Oh...hum...what's the name of your company again?" These words strike you in the heart as your potential client nods, smiles, and walks away. If you are crying inside because you were branded a "nobody" among your peers, this, my friend, is a sign. Our zodiac advisor says it's time to summon the PR DOG, the best friend of man as well as the best friend of business.

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5 Tips for Connecting with Your Audience

 

 

Lights...camera...action! The research is done; the presentation complete; the audience assembled; now it's your turn to take the spotlight. You might be thinking, I'm ready, now I just need to connect with the audience. Whether you're talking one-on-one with a reporter, hosting a webinar, or giving a keynote speech at an industry event, what can you do to boost your confidence and wow your audience?

Here are 5 tips for connecting with your audience:

1. Custom Fit like a Glove

"One size fits all" is nice in theory, but it's not very realistic. Before you print that PowerPoint, understand what your audience is looking for. What information are they expecting you to provide? What are they hungry to learn? Should you use industry jargon or avoid it altogether? Tailor your messages, your tone, even your delivery style to fit each audience. Taking time to customize your presentation can mean the difference between making a connection and getting a cold reception.

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5 Steps to Planning a Media Event

So, you've decided to hold a media event: a press conference to launch a new product or service that will change the industry (or the world), celebrate a company milestone, merger, or a bi-centennial. Before you send out invitations to guests, especially your media guests, review your checklist and make sure not to miss these five steps. As a host, it is up to you to intrigue reporters to gain their attendance and potential media coverage.

Here are 5 steps to planning a media event:

1. Have a News Hook

You might have organized a well-planned event: you might be disclosing company news, or launching a new product, or providing breakthrough sessions at your conference. Believe it or not, these might not be enough to tempt busy reporters to come to your event. You'll need solid, relevant and timely news hooks. How will your company news or product shake up the industry? What value can you bring outside of what the media can read from your press release? Can your news resonate beyond the conference room and event hall? Be sure to highlight trends, unique aspects of your product or service and demonstrate how your news will transform and elevate these trends. Where there's a news hook - there's a story.

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