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Eight secrets to help you get press coverage

April 22, 2015 by Amanda Ruiz

Eight secrets to help you get press coverage{{}}Have you had your fingers burnt when hiring PR agents or agencies? Did they tie you into an expensive six-month retainer but didn’t deliver the results you were expecting? Or do you just want to do your own PR but don’t know where to start?

Fear not – here are my secrets on how to get into the press.

When I first started on my entrepreneurial journey, a friend (who runs The Mumprenuers Networking Club) said something that really struck a chord. She said: “Every day you must do at least one promotional activity in order to drive customer and brand awareness”.

So with those words ringing in my ears, I really went to town and mastered how to get into the press.

Through huge amounts of perseverance I secured press coverage in many of the major glossies and national newspapers. Here’s my step-by-step method to ensure you get results.

  1. Find your “golden nugget”: the thing that makes your business interesting. Then decide on your press angle: is it a product launch, profile piece, something seasonal, a local story, or a reaction to recent news?
  2. Research your ideal client: where do they hang out, what do they read online and offline, where do they shop, what are their hobbies, what’s their income? Find this out and create at least three mood boards to fit each type of client. Now target publications that fit these profiles.
  3. Research your competition: don’t reinvent the wheel, see where your competitors have got press mentions and which angles they used. This will inspire you to think of more new angles.
  4. Research your target journalist: read their articles, look them up on journalisted.com and LinkedIn, and follow them on Twitter. Contact them about the things they tend to write about and mention their latest article to show you’ve done your homework.
  5. Create a PR toolkit: including professional photographs and strong copy. Make sure your website is up-to-date website with clear contact details.
  6. Write a press release: and make sure it is newsworthy. Consider why the readers want to read about your business. Include: an eye-catching headline, short sharp paragraphs, a quote, verifiable facts, relevant statistics and full contact details. Share your press release via social media and make sure it’s easy to find on your website.
  7. Make a PR plan of action: be targeted. You will get the best results if you focus on your key targets and do quality follow-ups rather than doing a mass mail-out and hoping something will stick. Create a plan of action listing: contact details, date of contact, feedback, action to take.
  8. Develop a PR campaign: Practise your pitch before you go to the big guns. Never leave a voice-mail as journalists are busy; keep calling them, but try not to come over as a stalker! Be persistent and polite.

Once you have got into the press, make sure you say thank you to the journalist. Then add the piece to your website and share it on social media.

Copyright © 2015 Amanda Ruiz is the founder of www.amandaruiz.co.uk. She runs online courses for entrepreneurs that want to get press coverage.

Why customer service is key

April 15, 2015 by Marketing Donut contributor

Customer Satisfaction Is Key - An infographic by the team at DMC Software

What can Apple teach businesses about loyalty?

April 13, 2015 by Marketing Donut contributor

What can Apple teach businesses about loyalty?{{}}Football fans are incredibly passionate about their teams. Wouldn’t it be great if your customers felt as passionately about your small business; if they’d tell everyone about you and defend you to the ends of the earth?

We must remember that we are all are tribal, even though we no longer live in tribes? We have an innate desire to belong to something. Today, we create an identity for ourselves through the businesses we align ourselves with — whether they are big names or a local store or café.

A sense of identity

It’s something that big brands understand but that many small firms miss. Nations have flags to bring people together and give them an identity. Logos are the flags of big brands; helping members of the tribe recognise each other and tell the world where they belong. Who we give our allegiance to often tells our peers who we are and what we represent.

Branding is like a flag. It helps the consumer declare to the world what they stand for. Every business, no matter what size, must have a clear message. Ask yourself, “What does my brand stand for?”

The brand is a promise to the consumer – a promise of an expected experience. “Buy from us and you will receive this.”

By making a promise you attract customers, by keeping that promise you create loyal fans.

The Apple experience

Do you remember the “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” campaign from Apple? The campaign was effective because the message was clear; use a PC and you are in for disappointment and frustration, use an Apple and create your dream. What’s important is that Apple delivered on its brand promise and this is why we see so many Apple products today.

It is imperative to make sure your business can deliver on its brand promise. We can learn from Samsung here. In order to compete with Apple in the mobile phone industry, Samsung came up with a bigger phone. For some months, it looked like this tactic had worked. However, those people that switched began to head back to Apple. Why? Simple; the Samsung phone was too complex and Apple users who had switched found its operating system user-unfriendly.

People went back to Apple in droves and Apple seized an opportunity; they saw the demand for a bigger phone and delivered it.

Apple once again is leading the market. One company had focused solely on its features (Samsung) while the other focused on the experience and tribe (Apple).

Branding without delivery is simply a lie. People will become discouraged and look for something better. Delivering the brand experience will ensure your business stands out.

Copyright © 2015 Dominic Kitchin, an expert in business growth. He is director of Saxonbury & Kent and founder of The Science of Buying.

Is the customer king? Tired old cliché or still as relevant as ever?

April 08, 2015 by Robert Craven

Is the customer king? Tired old cliché or still as relevant as ever?{{}}“You cannot say ‘the customer is king' in this day and age...” That was the feedback I was given recently. “It’s so 1985.”

At first, I wasn't sure if the criticism didn't say more about the critic than about the three little words but I am not so sure.

It feels like the obvious is being stated when we are told. However, if it is so obvious, then why do so few people do it?

Well, what I do get is that the phrase is not as of the moment as CE, CX, or CEM, (and if you have to ask then it shows just how behind the curve you are).

While the phrase may seem a little dated, I did also have a simpler problem. Way back in 2002, I wrote the book, Customer is King. It was good enough that Sir Richard Branson wrote a foreword for it.

As it happens, it has just been updated and published on Kindle. As it is the title of my book, I do feel committed to using the phrase.

The phrase has been over-used but then so has “profit is vanity, cash is sanity”.

However, the real question is whether the phrase imparts its full meaning. Personally, I think it probably does. But then again you are my customer, and only your opinion really matters, so what do you think?

Copyright © 2015 Robert Craven. Robert runs The Directors’ Centre, helping businesses to grow. He is a keynote speaker and best-selling author of Kick-Start Your Business and Grow Your Service Firm as well as The Customer is King.

How colours affect email response

March 30, 2015 by Amir Jirbandey

How colours affect email response{{}}

Image by: The Logo Company

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine working in a large digital publishing company had a debate with a client about whether or not to use a black background in a forthcoming email campaign.

She asked me if I had any research to back her up. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything concrete, but putting myself on the receiving end of that email, I knew I would hate getting an out-dated looking email from the 1990s.

This made me dig a little bit deeper into the psychology behind colour and how people react to colour in email.

There are seven main colours and they evoke very different feelings:

  1. Red is for energy. Red boosts your energy levels and increases adrenaline. It is considered a high-energy colour, to be used in areas where we need to be more productive such as home offices. We also associate this colour with passion and romance.
  2. Orange is for fun. It represents warmth and happiness, providing optimism and trust. With its associations to sunny days and bright light, orange brings a positive outlook on life and portrays good health.
  3. Yellow is for optimism. Yellow is known to be uplifting, happy and cheerful. However, it is also the most illuminating colour so it can be straining on the eye, providing a feeling of anger and frustration.
  4. Blue is for trust. Blue is considered the colour of honesty, loyalty and trust. It’s also a calm colour with soothing effects, which may be why it is favoured by most people, but more particularly by men. This could be one of the reasons that doctors and nurses wear blue and green, especially when we consider they are opposite red on the colour wheel.
  5. Green is for growth. Green is the colour for growth and peacefulness.  And as it’s in the middle of the colour spectrum, it’s also seen as the colour of balance. Green tends to be reassuring; however be aware that it can also denote money.
  6. White is neutral. White conveys sterility and cleanliness and it has also come to represent goodness. However, it provides little stimulation for the senses so too much of it can look cold and boring.
  7. Black is hidden. Apart from its negative connotations with death and darkness, black can be seen as mysterious and hidden from the world. This is one of the reasons why, when I was 18, I didn’t wear anything but black.

But how does colour affect email responses? The best way to find out is to test. We tested these two approaches:

How colours affect email response{{}}

In a driving context, green means “go” and red means “stop”. So which of these do you think had the higher conversion?

The red button outperformed green by 21%. It’s probably not what you had in mind, right?

Which colours to use for calls to action is an age-old discussion. The lesson we must learn here is that even if we do our research, we should always be testing our campaigns.

Every customer is different and their response to each colour can vary depending on their mood, location, device used and many more. So remember: always A/B test.

Copyright © 2015 Amir Jirbandey is marketing lead UK at Mailjet. 

Social media is great - but don’t neglect email

March 23, 2015 by Marketing Donut contributor

Many small firms pour all their marketing time and resources into maintaining social media accounts in order to interact with customers and strengthen their online reach.

But, in order to fully ensure customer satisfaction, it’s important not to neglect social media’s predecessor, email.

Email is still a vital tool for businesses that want to communicate with their customers. As popular as social media has become, the use of email isn’t faltering, and the number of email accounts is expected to increase from over 3.9 billion in 2013 to over 4.9 billion by the end of 2017.

Customer care

While it may appear that consumers head straight to social media when they’re dissatisfied with a product or service, 42% of people use email as their most common channel for making a complaint.

However, as this infographic shows, businesses are not always equipped to deal with the number of emails that enter their inboxes. Although 41% of consumers expect an email response within six hours, only 36% of retailers respond this quickly. And 59% of businesses take more than eight hours to reply; while one in four take 24 hours or more.

’WhyCopyright © 2015 numero is a UK customer service software provider.

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