Archive for October, 2010

Growth Mentors

 

Here at Publicity Queen we have just held another of our monthly Advisory Board meetings, and to reinforce some advice from a previous blogpost on Advisory Boards:  I stumbled across a great resource recently from the Australian Institute for Company Directors entitled “SME Business Owners/Directors: The benefits of an advisory board – mentoring for growth”.

This new publication from AICD gives stellar advice for small to medium sized enterprises about harnessing the power of an advisory board, that can: “provide the strategic advice and complementary skills required to take your small or medium business to the next level.”  Quite.

This report provides crucial information on why companies can benefit from choosing an Advisory Board, how to go about choosing them, and how to harness their collective expertise to help grow your business.

I won’t reproduce the report here, but they have spelled out the potential benefits of having an Advisory Board which I will repeat for you here…

Benefits include:

  • Draw on the skills and knowledge of directors/advisors who have practical experience in growing a business
  • Enhance the company’s reputation and credibility in the marketplace
  • Increase consumer and investor confidence
  • Attract superior employees by demonstrating a commitment to company growth
  • Create a potential source of members for the ‘main’ board as the company grows
  • Test the quality of “outsider” contributions to the business (for family companies)

I encourage you all to get a copy of this free report, and implement this GOLDEN growth strategy for your business.

Publicity Queen

Yours in PR

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Facebook vs LinkedIn – Which Channel is Right for my Business?

OK, I’ve been deliberating this topic for quite some time and having several discussions with uber gurus – but here is my take on the best uses of Facebook and LinkedIn and how we will be advising our clients.

There are differences of opinion about these things, but from what I have seen and observed, it seems that the overwhelming value that Facebook offers is for B2C (business to consumers) and B2b (business to small business – micro operators, start-ups etc), and on the other hand, I believe that LinkedIn offers true value for the B2B (business to business) arena.

David Olsen from Dynamic Business, revealed last month that 18% of Australian businesses use social media to promote their businesses (my guess is that some would be doing it well and others would be investing inordinate amounts of time for very little return).  Disturbingly he also found that only 35% have an online presence at all, but that’s a blog topic for another day.

So in social media terms, for companies involved in direct selling to consumers, Facebook provides a unique and highly-interactive way to communicate with consumers who are looking to make personal purchases.

For other businesses, Facebook would be of lesser value, and here’s where I feel that LinkedIn has the advantage.  Particularly for larger companies keen to preserve their profile, LinkedIn to me, has a higher level of credibility and is seemingly predominantly populated with career and business-focussed members making it ideal for making corporate opportunities and contacts.  You can also use it to connect online with business contacts you’ve made onground as well as making extended connections by being introduced to people that are already ‘pre-endorsed’ by your existing contacts whose judgement you trust and whose business goals you share.  You then have the power, potentially (use carefully, folks) to recruit them as potential clients of your own.

Say you read about someone in BRW or the Financial Review and are impressed by them and want to meet them, you can look them up on LinkedIn, make contact and begin a conversation about how you might collaborate.  Importantly, you can also connect your LinkedIn profile with your blog, tweets, website and CV as well as track what your colleagues are up to.

So, the choice is yours… my advice is to use any and all channels that are potentially useful, just be strategic about how and why you choose each one, and then potentially all social media roads will lead to your front door.

I would love to get your feedback on this…

Publicity Queen

Yours in PR

Publicity Queen Makes BRW Top 5

Here at Publicity Queen we are firm believers in the power of referral partners and third-party endorsements, particularly those from highly-esteemed industry journals, so you can imagine our delight in reading this week’s edition (7-13 October 2010) of BRW to find that on page 51, Publicity Queen is featured at NUMBER FIVE on their list of Public Relations firms.  *Swish!*

We are pleased to be given this endorsement from BRW and proud to be listed alongside our competitors and collaborators in the industry, and moreover, as detailed in the supporting copy on the same page, BRW explains that the purpose of the list is to assist small to medium enterprises to access services and support.  This is serendipitous, as the entire business philosophy of Publicity Queen is to provide public relations strategy, advice and implementation to just this sector of the market for the purposes of maximising the growth of their businesses.

Also included in the article is a list (they are BIG on lists over at BRW!) of five questions to ask a PR firm, for the purposes of verifying if they are able to service your business and its PR requirements.  We thought it might be informative to actually answer those five questions from our own point of view, so as to provide an insight for our existing and future clients on our credentials, experience and approach.

The questions are:

1. Have any of your staff worked as journalists?
Yes.  At Publicity Queen, among our suite of consultants are former television, radio and print journalists.  However, we like to ensure we have a mix of both qualified journalists and PR professionals as they both bring different, and equally important, skill sets to our clients.  Also, each of our Queens also have extensive experience – that’s the other critical question to ask.

2. What is your approach to developing a PR strategy?
Essential to the process of taking on a new client, we conduct a thorough research and fact-finding missions so that we can understand your business and your PR needs and align your TRUEpublicity strategy to your business objectives and priorities.  TRUEpublicity enables us to develop a PR strategy that leverages the PR strategy across four channels and thereby dramatically improve results and return-on-investment for clients.  We do well, when you are doing well.

3. Who would be working on my account?
We only have senior consultants at Publicity Queen (who are called ‘Queens’ by the way) so you are assured of having a seasoned and talented professional represent and advise your business.  Each of our Queens are formally qualified journalists or PR practitioners so they have a proven track record in driving results.  Because we work in so closely with clients and, in effect, become an extension of the management team, we encourage prospective clients to meet the Queen prior to signing-up.

4. How do you measure results?
Let’s be honest, measuring any form of marketing has its difficulties but we overcome that in two ways.  Firstly by our reporting – we supply clients with complete transperancy on our monthly reports so that you know what media we’re dealing with, what information they have received and what coverage has resulted from each campaign.  We also measure results by the value we add to the business and there are a range of indictors to do this from increased traffic to website to increased revenues – these types of indicators can be tailored to suit each client.

5. How proactive is your team?
At Publicity Queen, we are so on the front foot we have calouses on our toes!  Our entire team are self-motivated and energetic people who are always thinking of new ways to get the name of their client in front of potential decision makers and customers.  Each and every week, our consultants are calling media representatives, pitching story ideas, organising photo shoots, media familiarisation tours and creating new content that is topical, informative and timely.  The media have developed trust with Publicity Queen as they know we represent quality businesses, and provide insightful information for their readers or viewers.

I hope reading the answers to these questions has given you an insight into Publicity Queen and the way we work in this industry  – we actually don’t do PR to get our clients in the press, we do it to help entrepreneurs and business managers like you grow the business.

Many thanks to the folks at BRW for their endorsement of our success, and we will continue, with them, to work with small to medium enterprises to encourage them to reach their true growth potential.  Onwards and upwards!

Publicity QueenYours in PR

Maintaining Database Integrity

With an ambitious growth trajectory on the radar, at Publicity Queen we are in the throes of a business development drive.

Having sourced a database, it has been an interesting (and time-consuming) exercise authenticating the contacts and incorporating them into our system.  We have learnt some key lessons – and here they are….

Firstly – (I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it continues to astound me) choose a web domain that precisely reflects who you are and your company name.  It was surprising to me that when I ‘googled’ some businesses, that their domain did not actually match their company name, and in many cases (which really surprised me!) some did not have websites at all!

Secondly – make it easy for people to find your contact details.  Incredibly, many of the companies I searched for did not have a valid email address on their site.  Now I understand that some of us are trying to protect ourselves from spammers and data miners and spiders, I get that, but bear in mind that by using an email form instead of supplying an address that you will miss out on some busy people who do not have the time to fill in all the required fields and WANT TO SEND YOU A QUICK EMAIL!

Moreover, there are web protocols that are best observed – people will look for a ‘Contact Us’ tab, but might not click on a ‘Drop Us a Line’ tab or a ‘Say G’Day’ tab, so don’t be too clever or creative with this important info, and in the immortal words of Jerry Maguire, ‘help us, help you!”

Thirdly – if you do receive a database of contacts via a third party, it is worthwhile to spend some time (which means some $ too) in checking its veracity.  In a recent one I received, many contact details were incorrect, including important information like the name of the contact.  Can’t imagine I will have too much success recruiting John Smith if I sent him an email that read “Dear Gohn”..  He might be ‘Gohn’ now, as in long gone!

Fourth – if you are beginning a sales drive, make sure you are in the right place to maximise your new leads.  One of our potential contacts (and I won’t name names) had a very minimalistic website.. which is polite PR speak for it was a BLANK PAGE.. no pics, no text, no links.  Not sure just what message they were trying to send with that site, but where I come from it said “I am not ready to do business with you”.

So, in short, make a powerful first impression with your branding, make it easy for people to find you and then get in contact with you.

Publicity QueenYours in PR

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