Thursday, December 18, 2008

The consumer makes the market

I recently donated time to a non-profit auction and gave an hour consulting to a start-up, whose main drive was philosophical.

While ideas are important, to succeed a business has to offer something people want.

As a journalist, people were always asking if I could get them in magazines or on TV.

After years of using items only if they were newsworthy, I decided to “sell out” and become a flak.

While it was an obvious choice on the one hand, I was as “snooty” as any other writer about my work.

Today, PR is changing again. Everything is online and electronic.

As a result, we followed the market.

As clients asked us to re-structure and oversee the intellectual creation and ongoing architecture of their websites, we found the people we needed to add to our roster.

Now, we do everything from the macro of branding, design and structure to the micro of font selection and coordination of information—using our experience of what works for the consumer.

The customer dictates the market.

If you want to succeed, you have to do what the market wants.

For more information, check out our website at

To contact us, please use our online form.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Publicity gets more online hits than pay per click

A recent survey of business owners showed that they were cutting costs as expected, but not for public relations.

Because it's even more important to get the word out in a difficult economy, it’s not surprising businesses are investing in publicity.

Public relations can cost upwards of $10,000 a month for a big campaign from a big firm, but you don’t have to pay that much.

A campaign that focuses on major media creates an online presence from the media itself.

Research shows that traffic to business websites spikes five-fold after a press release for much less money than advertising, even pay per click.


Because publicity creates multiple avenues of information flow from Google News and other websites to your website.

The point is to get as much bang for your buck as possible, especially now.

That means using publicity before anything else.

For more information, check out our website at

To contact us, please use our online form.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How to raise your search engine ranking

People often ask how to get more business from their website. I suggest raising their search engine ranking.

While you can pay for sponsorships and ad spots, people ignore those. In today’s world, people want the real deal.

You have to think like the Internet, a web. It’s an entity with spiraling arms and interlinking connections. It moves outward and upward through time. Imagine a badminton shuttlecock with your site at the top—where you want to keep it as it flies through the air.

Because the Internet is constantly changing and growing, you must change your website regularly to keep up.

Have your IT people update the copy and design elements regularly.

Change your site with an ongoing blog. Use your area of expertise and blog about it. Write about it every other month, at the least. When bots search for new info, they’ll pick it up and send the site up the chain.

Target something you do that isn’t as common on the Internet. Revamp your site using that.

Use common meta tags. Try different terms. Track the results to see what works best.

When clients and customers find you through the web, ask what words they used. Stick with ones that get you the highest ranking.

It’s time-consuming, but being at the top of the heap will get you business.

For more information, check out our website at and use our contact page to email us.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why "being real" is important

We have moved from a consumer economy where price and quality were the reasons people bought to a new expectation—authenticity.

Consumers today want the transaction to feel real. They want quality customer service from real-seeming people, even if the prices are rock bottom.

We have become this “discerning” because we are strapped for time and
want life to have meaning, even if all we do is work and consume goodies.

No matter what we do, we experience something. The question is:
Will the experience of interacting with your employees seem valuable?

So, how can you and your company that are, paradoxically, in the business of selling make it seem real?

You can start by being aware of what your client or customer experiences. Do people get genuine responses from you and your employees?

Assuming they do is a mistake. An example: I was pitching a story to an editor who told me he had just had to fire an employee. Instead of asking if he was okay or if that had been hard, I didn’t change tack; I kept going with my idea.

I was given the opportunity to talk to him as one human being to another and I blew it. I made a mistake, one I’ll always regret, but that I learned from and hope I will never do again.

If you monitor and moderate the experience from start to finish, the better off you will be. If your employees are happy and are genuinely interested in the clients and customers, your clients and customers will feel validated as human beings. They will appreciate, trust and be loyal to you as a result.

Every time we interact with someone, we are given a chance to connect with this person. That is what people are looking for today.

For more information, check out our website at

To contact us, please use our online form.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Getting WOM (Word-of-Mouth)

Thanks to the Internet, we are sophisticated consumers. But, we trust the one-to-one encounters more. That’s why word-of-mouth is at the top of the marketing pyramid.

To take advantage of this, Sony Ericsson had 60 actors ask other tourists to take their photo with their new picture-taking cell phone. The shills didn’t even have to tout new technology. All they had to do was demo it and say how cool it was. Expensive, but effective, WOM.

Without hired guns, how can you create buzz?

Become an expert. Get a reporter on your story. They will use your clients as sources and spread the word to more people than you could ever reach on your own.

Write articles, opinion pieces, guest editorials, blogs. Get help and advice from your friends, family, colleagues and clients. It will help you and will make your relationships stronger.

Set up 360 links with your website testimonials and clients. If possible, make your website interactive. Add sections for people to share information.

Put blogs, articles, opinion pieces and guest editorials on your website. Send them to prospects and clients.

Google your name. Monitor blogs and other sites for it. Update information. Correct errors. Add your two cents. Ask your circle of influence to contribute. Joining the party will be worth your while.

For more information, check out our website at To contact us, use our online form.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What we expect from websites

Today, 73 percent of us get entertainment from the Internet.

We shop, bank, watch TV on the Internet.

The web has become such a part of our lives, 65 percent of us spend more time on our computer than with our spouse.

What does that mean if you have a website?

It means it better be good.

‘Cause the competition is stiff. Not just other business, health and shopping channels, but fun.

Websites can’t be static. They have to have flash and animation, slide shows, podcasts and music.

They need to be chock full of information: facts, statistics, and perceptive ideas that are useful to the reader and easy-to-read.

Websites also need to answer the most important question: “What’s In It For Me?”

If you want the reader to stay on the site, it needs to tell the person how useful your services are to them and why.

Bios, lists of services, info about the company is important. But it won’t connect with the audience in a meaningful way.

And, in today’s world, connection is what it’s all about.

For more information, check out our website at and use our online form.